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The walk and turn field sobriety test

If you are ever stopped while driving by an officer in Pennyslvania and that officer suspects that you may have been drinking, you might be asked to perform a few tests. These are called field sobriety tests. Contrary to what many people may believe, these tests cannot prove that you are drunk. According to FieldSobrietyTests.org, the intended purpose of these tests is to give a law enforcement officer enough evidence that suggests you might be drunk. Armed with this evidence, the officer may then arrest you and charge you with suspected drunk driving.

There are three tests approved for use by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. One of these is the walk and turn test. As the name implies, you would be asked to walk a bit and then turn around and walk back. Details here include that you must maintain a strict heel-to-toe formation as you walk and you must take only nine steps before turning around. You are not allowed to use your arms for balance, to pause partway through the test or to fall off a real or imagined straight line.

This test is said to be accurate in only 68 percent of cases. Factors such as physical conditions or impairments that may hinder your balance as well as the road conditions and lighting may all make it difficult to succesfully execute this test as ordered. 

If you would like to learn more about the walk and turn test or other elements of a potential drunk driving investigation, please feel free to visit the field sobriety test page of our Pennsylvania drunk driving and criminal defense website.

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