Jared Austin, J.D. | Article

Field Sobriety Test: Walk-And-Turn

FST-- Walk and Turn (WAT)

This is the second of the three field sobriety tests that we will be discussing in detail. This one requires standardized instructions. The subject is instructed to perform nine steps touching heel-to-toe and is then told to turn around and perform the nine heel-to-toe steps again. However, a demonstration by the officer only consists of three heel-to-toe steps.

The officer is taught to look for eight clues which can off the score of the subject. They are:

1. Unable to keep balance while listening to instructions
2. Starting before the instructions are finished
3. Stopping while walking
4. Not touching heel-to-toe
5. Stepping off the line
6. Using arms to balance
7. Making an improper turn
8. Performing an incorrect number of steps

If the driver exhibits two or more clues, they fail rending an indication of intoxication.

This test requires a straight line and a reasonably dry, hard level and non-slippery surface and enough room to turn. Often a burm line or parking space line will be used if available. If the driver is wearing two-inch heels, they should be given a chance to take them off. Take as many mental notes as possible to relate to your DUI lawyer about the surrounding area. It is also best to view the place in the daytime for a more accurate observation. Again, the police report and cruiser cam videos should be carefully scrutinized to make sure the instructions were given properly and the test was administered correctly.