Even though most people can complete the Walk and Turn sobriety test, some people have physical limitations which can make the test difficult to perform. The police will still try and get drivers suspected of driving under the influence here in Georgia to complete the test, even though it is not 100% accurate. These tests will later be used against a driver when the prosecutor tries to get a conviction for drunk driving, even though these tests are not mandatory.
Walk the Line Test
Atlanta police use standardized field sobriety tests, to find out if they think a driver is intoxicated or not. Law enforcement believes these tests give a fair picture as to whether a driver may be intoxicated. However, even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) knows there are a lot of people who will fail the Walk the Line test even when completely sober.
The specific instructions are supposed to be given to the driver before attempting the Walk and Turn test. Sometimes, if the police are in a hurry, or not paying attention, they may not give the proper instructions, which can hurt your testing results. Pay attention to the instructions, which should be to walk heel to toe in a straight line, for nine (9) step. Then, turn on one foot, and go back in the opposite direction to the beginning, again walking heel to toe.
These tests are not required by Georgia State laws, and anyone can refuse to take a field sobriety test. It may seem like there is no harm to taking the field sobriety test if the driver is not drunk, but any mistake or misstep can result in a failed sobriety test and the driver could end up in jail facing drunk driving charges. The Walk the Line test can be used against you in court, but it can rarely help you out. With so much at stake, it may be best to politely say to the police officer, “Officer, I have been advised by my lawyer to refuse any field sobriety tests.”
Passing the Walk and Turn Test
There are many things that can unfairly make a driver “fail” the test, even if they are okay to drive. For many people, being obese, or having back or leg pain will make the test difficult or even impossible to complete. The wrong shoes or uneven road shoulder may also make it an unpredictable test. On top of that, whenever people are stopped by highway patrol, they often feel nervous and frightened even if they knew they were not doing anything wrong. Anxiety can make people feel weak, or cause shaking, which could be observed by the police as being intoxicated or causing them to misstep when walking heel to toe in line.
DUI Defense Lawyer in Atlanta
You may regret deciding to have one too many drinks and then driving, or maybe it was the police officer who made the mistake in not giving you a fair chance to prove that you weren't intoxicated. The most important thing to remember is that just because you or your loved one was arrested for a DUI does not mean that you will be found guilty. One of the ways to fight a DUI charge, is by looking at the field sobriety tests, and if they were unfairly administered.
I have dedicated my professional career to DUI defense and even taken the same Standardized Field Sobriety Test training as the police and Georgia State Patrol officers. With this training, courtroom experience, and Georgia DUI law knowledge, I can interview the police who arrested you, and find out exactly what they did wrong, to get your charges dropped. If you have been charged with a DUI, give me a call as soon as you can, so we will talk about what happened, make sure you receive the fair treatment you deserve.