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What Happens In The Walk And Turn Test?

Another test is called the walk and turn test or the walk the line test. During the walk and turn test, the person would have to walk a line out, turn around, come back and if there were a certain number of clues present, meaning the person did a certain number of things wrong, they would determine the person did not pass that test.

Again, before the test there is an instructional phase, and then someone will be asked to walk heel to toe, looking at their feet, counting out loud, nine steps out and nine steps back, taking a pivot when they get nine out. The officers are looking for balance, to see if someone raises their arms, if they touch heel to toe, if they start too soon, and if they count properly. It only takes two mistakes, or clues, to be considered intoxicated.

What Is The Preliminary Breath Test Or PBT?

The preliminary breath test, or portable breath test, is something that an officer uses after giving a standardized field sobriety test to see whether someone is at or over the legal limit. This is a preliminary test. Often, the officers will say that it will not be used against you, but this is untrue. Most judges allow it in court and so, no one should ever do these tests unless you know you are under the limit. Even then, these machines don’t always work properly or are not properly calibrated. They are not as reliable as evidential tests, which are usually given later after an arrest.

How Would They Judge The Person For The Walk And Turn Test?

For this test, they would give the person instructions and then have them stand at attention before doing the test so they could see whether the person could balance or whether they were swaying while they were standing at attention and listening to the instructions.

They would be trying to see if they could point out anything the person did incorrectly on this test. They would use certain clues to judge the test like if the person started too soon, because that would be a clue the person was not doing the test properly. Another clue would be if there was more than a half-inch gap between the person’s heel and toe when they were taking the steps, which would usually be nine steps out, nine steps back. They would have the person take small steps on the turn to turn around, so if the person spun around quickly, they may say the person did not follow directions. If the person stepped off the line, it could be a clue they were not doing it correctly. It would be another clue if the person’s arms raised up more than six inches from their side. Different things may be clues, and they would put them down to say the person failed the test.

What Issues Could Come Up With The Walk And Turn Test?

The problem with this test and every other field sobriety test that they come up with is that they do not know how the person would have performed it if there was no alcohol at all in their system. These tests were not given when the person went in to get a California Driver’s license, and since they had not been tested on any of these, the officers would not have a baseline to compare the person to. The officer would just be judging it based on what most people or what the average person who was in good shape would do under better circumstances than late at night when they were cold, tired and scared with police lights and fearing arrest.

For more information on Walk And Turn Test, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

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Aaron Bortel
With 30 years of specialized experience in DUI defense, Attorney Aaron Bortel is a dedicated advocate for those facing DUI charges in the Bay Area. Committed to helping clients avoid jail, save their driver’s licenses and jobs, and prevent permanent criminal records, he combines deep legal expertise with genuine care for his client's welfare. Trust in a lawyer who not only defends but truly supports you through challenging times.

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