The Walk and Turn, like the horizontal gaze nystagmus, is another standardized field sobriety test in Texas. How hard can this one be. Most of us have been walking since we were one or two years old.
The trick to this test is not if you are able to walk normally. In the Walk and Turn, the officer will give you a set of instructions that you must follow to the letter. They know that you are likely nervous and intimidated by a person wearing a gun. There is also a good chance that you will be arrested for driving while intoxicated after they do the testing.
Walk and Turn Test
The officer will ask you to take nine steps. You must step heel-to-toe, along a straight line, turn on one foot, and return nine steps in the opposite direction. As I said earlier, it sounds simple enough.
During the test, the officer will look for seven indicators of impairment:
- If you cannot keep balance while listening to the instructions
- You begin before the instructions are finished
- You stop while walking to regain your balance
- You do not touch heel-to-toe
- You use your arms to balance
- You lose balance while turning
- You take an incorrect number of steps
If you exhibit two or more of the above indicators during the test, there is a likelihood of intoxication, according to the NHTSA.
Think about the instructions and indicators that you just read above. Can you remember them all? I’ll bet most of you cannot.
Imagine that you are tired after a long day, it’s dark, there are flashing lights from the squad car and you have a public official carrying a gun and giving you orders. They are also shining a bright flashlight in your face. Good luck at taking this test and not failing at least two of the signs.
As we have discussed earlier, you are being recorded from the moment that you are pulled over. Please do not provide a video to the prosecutor. They will explain that any inability that you may have shown was the result of intoxication.
It is easier for your attorney to explain that you refused the test due to a physical limitation or just from being tired. Jurors who watch a video will have a lasting impression of what they saw.