Like many people in Virginia, you have probably heard about certain tests or actions that you might be asked to take if you are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. Understanding the different tests is important, especially if you are ultimately arrested and charged with a drunk driving offense. Chemical tests like blood or breath tests are able to measure the amount of alcohol in your system. Other tests, commonly called field sobriety tests, are used to give an officer enough evidence to arrest you for a suspected DUI.
As explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org there are three field tests that have been standardized and approved for use by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Each test must be performed exactly as outlined by the NHTSA guidelines. In the walk and turn test, part of these guidelines require that the officer first clearly provide instructions about the test to you and ensure you understand them before asking you to do anything.
The walk and turn test requires you to take steps in a straight line without looking anywhere but at your feet. You are also not allowed to remove your arms from your sides. Toes and heels must touch at each step. After nine paces, you must turn around and walk back to where you started. Dim lighting, heels, uneven road surfaces, body weight, joint problems and more may all contribute to inaccurate results with this test.
If you would like to learn more about the walk and turn test or other tests used during a drunk driving investigation, please feel free to visit the field sobriety test page of our Virginia criminal and drunk driving defense website.