Monder Law Group - News
Understanding the Walk and Turn Field Sobriety Test in a San Diego DUI Case
The most common field sobriety test to determine an impaired driver in San Diego is for an officer to conduct a walk and turn examination. The officer gives the suspect stands in a heel-to-toe fashion with arms at the sides while a series of instructions. The officer must find a designated straight line where the weather conditions should not be adverse to the suspect. Furthermore, there are conditions that may exist such as medical conditions that would prevent a suspect from performing the exam. An officer should not have a 65-year-old man on crushes perform this exam.
However, the officer will have to give the following instructions if he or she chooses to conduct the test:
- Suspect must place left foot on line
- Suspect must place right foot on line in front of left foot with hell of right foot against toe of left foot
- Suspect must keep arms down against sides during entire test
- Suspect must understand all instructions
- Suspect must take nine heal-to-toe steps and when the ninth step has been taken, must leave the front foot on the line, and turn around using a series of small steps with other foot.
- Suspect must take another nine heel-to-toe steps back on line.
- Suspect must count the steps aloud and once they start walking then should not stop until test is completed.
- Total all clues.
The officer will add up all the clues after the test is completed. Two or more clues classify the suspect’s BAC as above a .08%. Clues include suspect cannot keep balance, sways or uses arms for balance, starts too soon, stop walking, misses heel-to-toe, steps off line, takes wrong number of steps or turns improperly. This test has one of the highest probabilities of false positives for impaired driving in comparison to all other standardized tests.