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Field Sobriety Test: The Walk and Turn

Law enforcement has three tests that they depend upon to build a case against a driver that they suspect has been driving while intoxicated. The first one is the Eye Test, the second is the One-Leg Stand and the third test is called the Walk and Turn.

In the Walk and Turn test, the officer puts a person in a position to get instructions and asks them to put one foot in front of the other on a line. That line could be an imaginary line that only the officer can see. Then they ask the person to walk– heel to toe keeping arms by their side—nine steps up the line and nine steps back.  Then they ask the person to count out loud and not stop walking once they have started the test.

Once the officer puts person in this instruction position, he becomes long-winded as he explains. Most people will step out of position to be comfortable while getting these instructions, but the officer interprets this move as clue towards being intoxicated. Then, in walking the line, if the person happens to have a space between his or her feet, they have just failed the test.  If his arm goes out just six inches, he has just failed that test.  The driver needs only two of the officer’s so-called clues to fail the test.

Needless to say, the Walk and Turn is an incredibly inaccurate test and no one needs to take a test that can incriminate them so falsely. 

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