The walk-and-turn field sobriety test

If you are one of the many Arizona residents who has been arrested and charged with a drunk driving offense, it is important that you educate yourself about your defense options. This starts with getting a good understanding of the arrest process. You were likely asked to take part in field sobriety tests. As explained by, these tests are anything but foolproof and may offer you options to dispute the charges against you.

Of the three field sobriety tests approved for use by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one is called the walk-and-turn test. Your ability to pass this test is actually measured in part before you even take one step. Officers require you to stand in heel-to-toe fashion with your arms securely against your sides as instructions are given to you. Any inability on your part to balance properly during this phase can be used against you.

Once instructions have been read, you should be asked to confirm that you understand what you need to do. If you agree that you do, you will then walk nine exact steps, counting each one out loud and making sure your arms do not move and your front foot’s heel touches your back foot’s toe. Even taking your first step a couple of seconds early can hurt you in this test. Certainly you will be nervous because you know you are being investigated and that can hamper your ability to balance correctly and that may well contribute to your test results.

If you would like to learn more about the walk-and-turn test or any other part of an impaired driving arrest, please feel free to visit the police testing page of our Arizona drunk driving defense website.