by | last updated on January 19, 2016
Police officers commonly administer DUI field sobriety tests if they pull over a person who is exhibiting behaviors associated with drunk driving. A common test is the walk and turn test.This was among the tests established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It requires the offender to pay attention to the police officer and listen to what he or she is asking. Additionally, the driver must, at the same time, walk and turn in a straight line, which is fairly easy for those who are sober.A Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney can help those accused of DUI in Florida build a defense if arrested and charged. This might include challenging results of DUI field sobriety tests.

The Rules of the Walk and Turn DUI Field Sobriety Test

First, the police officer discusses the rules of the test. The officer may also demonstrate how to perform the test. The driver will start out by placing his or her feet in a straight line, heel to toe. Next, the driver will walk like that in a straight line for nine steps. After taking nine steps, the driver will then turn around and take nine more steps back to the starting point.

One important rule is that drivers must keep their arms at their sides the entire time. They must also count each step they are taking and keep moving until they are done. They are not allowed to stop until the test has been completed.

However, the test may not be completely accurate in all instances, and those charged may consult Fort Lauderdale DUI attorneys who can help Florida drivers evaluate their case and the results of the test.

Accuracy of This DUI Field Sobriety Test

The walk and turn test measures the driver’s ability to stay focused and follow directions, which are both difficult to do after drinking alcohol.

According to research by the NHTSA, 79 percent of those who show two or more of the following behaviors may be likely to have a BAC of at least 0.08:

  • lack of balance;
  • turning incorrectly;
  • starting or stopping too soon;
  • inability to touch feet together properly;
  • balancing with the use of arms;
  • counting incorrectly; and
  • not following a straight line.

However, many feel the test is biased and inaccurate because the measurements are subjective based on the police officer’s opinion. Fort Lauderdale DUI attorneys may challenge the officer’s opinion when defending clients against charges of DUI in Florida.

The test has the best results when it is performed on dry land that is level. Those wearing shoes with heels will be asked to remove them. Those who are elderly or overweight often have problems completing this test, as do those who experience medical problems in their middle ear, legs and back. When this is the case, the police officer should choose a more appropriate test.

Contacting a Fort Lauderdale DUI Attorney about a DUI in Florida

Those facing DUI in Florida may challenge field sobriety tests if they are thought to have been inaccurate or poorly administered. A Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney at the Law Offices of Robert David Malove can help Florida drivers accused of DUI understand their legal rights and build a defense that may include challenging a DUI field sobriety test.