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Fighting for Your Rights as a Motorist
Walk & Turn Field Sobriety Test
Handled By Our DUI Attorney in Harrisonburg
In Virginia DUI cases, the walk-and-turn field sobriety test requires you to stand in a position the officer instructs you to stand in while he gives you the instructions to the test and demonstrates the test for you. After he makes sure you understand the test, you are to begin performing it. You will be graded on both the instruction and walking phases of the test. A possible DUI arrest and conviction could occur if you fail this test.
The officer is looking for several clues of impairment while administering this test and will look at your:
- Ability to stand with your hands by your side with one foot in front of the other during the instruction phase
- Ability to walk nine steps down the line and back while touching heel-to-toe
- Ability to keep your hands by your side throughout the entire test (not use your arms for balance)
- Ability to complete the test without stepping off the line
- Ability to walk without stopping
- Ability to turn in the way the officer instructed you to turn after taking your first nine steps
The purpose of the test is to see whether you are able to stand while the officer instructs you and if you able to remember what the officer instructed you to do while you perform the test. One of the most common complaints by people who take this test is that walking in such a constricted manner is difficult at best, but even more difficult when under the added pressure of the threat of DUI arrest and going to jail, while walking on the side of the roadway. People with any back, hip, leg, or ankle problems are not proper candidates for the test.
You Should Refuse the Test
You are not required to take this test under Virginia DUI law and there are no penalties for refusing to do so. While there is no pass or fail for this test, you need only show two of the six clues of impairment to give the officer evidence, which may lead to probable cause for your arrest.
The validity of this test is highly questionable if the officer fails to give the instructions exactly as the test was validated or if you take the test in inclement weather, on a slope, hill, or anything but a smooth, level surface. The walk-and-turn field sobriety test has never been scientifically validated as a roadside test but was validated in an enclosed environment without the fear of arrest of the test subjects or other distractions.
If you have been stopped or arrested for DUI or any traffic crime, contact Harrisonburg DUI lawyer Bob Keefer right now for a free, no obligation case evaluation at (540) 433-6906.
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“His expertise and experience in navigating the legal shoals and mastering scientific evidence in DUI cases resulted in a reduction of charges!”
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When You Need a Traffic Lawyer,
Keefer Law Firm Can Help.
- Attorney Keefer is one of the few people in Virginia to call himself a NHTSA Certified Field Sobriety Instructor.
- He has completed the DOT Certified Breath Technician course on the EC/IR II, Virginia’s breath tester for evidence.
- He was a founding member of the DUI Defense Lawyers Association and is a member of the National College for DUI Defense.
- Attorney Keefer has more than 30 years of experience providing legal representation throughout Virginia.
- Our office contains the Alco-Sensor III, which is also used by law enforcement for preliminary breath testing.
- We offer free consultations for traffic offense and DUI cases.