The walk-and-turn field sobriety test

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

If a Louisiana police officer believes you are driving under the influence, they will no doubt pull you over. This action can be a frightening and disorienting experience, particularly if the officer asks you to step out of the car and participate in one or more field sobriety tests.

Walk-and-turn test

The walk-and-turn test is a widespread law enforcement DUI assessment tool during which an officer judges the driver’s ability to follow instructions and walk heel-to-toe in a straight line for nine steps, turn around, and walk nine steps back to the starting point. Difficulty performing any part of this test may result in a probable cause arrest.

Possible defenses

Although a prosecutor may present the results of a field sobriety test as evidence in a DUI case, this test only has a 66% accuracy rate, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That leaves you with several possible lines of defense. Here are a few of them.


You may have a physical condition that affects your balance, making it impossible to perform heal-to-toe steps. Other types of disabilities might cause you to stumble or be unable to understand the instructions.


Many prescription drugs caution drivers not to get behind the wheel while taking the medication. However, you might experience an impairment when taking any of the countless over-the-counter medicines and supplements that do not include a warning.

Weather conditions

It doesn’t have to be raining for the weather to affect your driving. Strong gusts might be blowing debris in your path, or you might be facing directly into the sun.

Inexperienced test administrator

An officer with limited experience administering field sobriety tests might not clearly state the instructions. They may also fail to consider extenuating circumstances while evaluating you.


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