Virginia Walk and Turn Test
The Walk-and-Turn Test is one of three standardized field sobriety tests developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As its name implies, this test requires you to walk and turn. While you perform the test, the police officer evaluates your performance and watches for certain clues that indicate intoxication. Like the One-Leg Stand Test, the Walk-and-Turn Test is a divided attention test. That is to say, the Walk-and-Turn Test is comprised of both a mental task and a physical task.
How The Walk-And-Turn Test Is Performed
To start the Walk-and-Turn Test, the police officer will instruct you to stand in a particular position while he gives you further instructions on the test. Even though it might not appear that the test has begun, the police officer is evaluating your performance as he is explaining the instructions of the test. For example, the police officer will note whether or not you are able to maintain your balance and position while listening to the instructions for the test.
To perform the Walk-and-Turn Test, you must take nine steps in a heel-to-toe fashion, do a pivot turn, and then take an additional nine steps in a heel-to-toe fashion. While you are taking the steps, you must count each step aloud. As you perform this test, the police officer watches for indicators of intoxication such as if you take the correct number of steps, count your steps out loud or step out of line. If you exhibit two or more of these indicators of intoxication, you could be arrested for DUI OR DWI. Additionally, if you fail to complete the test or extend your arms to balance, you will automatically fail the test.
Errors In Administering The Test
Not all police officers administer the Walk-and-Turn Test correctly. For that reason and other reasons, the Walk-and-Turn Test has been highly criticized as being designed to fail. If you’ve been arrested for DUI/DWI and failed the Walk-and-Turn Test, it is essential to hire an experienced attorney to protect your rights. Our highly specialized attorneys are experts on the DUI/DWI laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia and are able to implement an effective legal challenge to an improperly administered Walk-and-Turn Test.