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In Virginia DUI cases, the Walk-And-Turn field sobriety test requires you to stand in a position the officer instructs you to stand in while he gives you the instructions to the test, and demonstrates the test for you. After he makes sure you understand the test you are to begin performing the test. You will be graded in both the instruction and walking phases of the test. A possible DUI arrest in Virginia could occur if you fail this test.

The officer is looking for several clues of impairment while administering this test. Those clues include:

  •   Ability to stand with your hands by your side and one foot in front of the other during the instruction phase;
  •   Ability to walk nine steps down the line and back while touching heel-to-toe;
  •   Ability to keep your hands by your side throughout the entire test (not use your arms for balance);
  •   Ability to complete the test without stepping off the line;
  •   Ability to walk without stopping;
  •   Ability to turn in the way the officer instructed you to turn after taking your first nine steps.

The purpose of the test is to see whether you are able to stand while the officer instructs you, and able to remember what the officer instructed you to do while you perform the test. One of the most common complaints by people who take this test is that walking in such a constricted manner is difficult at best, but even more difficult when under the added pressure of the threat of DUI arrest and going to jail, and while on the side of the roadway. People with any back, hip, leg or ankle problems are not proper candidates for the test.

You are not required to take this test under Virginia DUI law, and there are no penalties for refusing to do so. While there is no pass or fail for this test, you need only to show two of the six clues of impairment to give the officer evidence which may lead to probable cause for your arrest.

The validity of this test highly questionable if the officer fails to give the instructions exactly as the test was validated, if you take the test in inclement weather, on a slope, hill, or anything but a smooth, level surface. The Walk-And-Turn field sobriety test has never been scientifically validated as a roadside test, but was validated in an enclosed environment without the fear of arrest of the test subjects, or other distractions.

If you have been stopped or arrested for DUI or any crime, contact Virginia DUI lawyer Bob Keefer right now for a free, no obligation case evaluation.

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