When pulled over for a suspected DUI, police officers will ask the driver to perform one or more of three Nevada Field Sobriety tests (FST). One of them is called the Walk and Turn (WAT). The suspect must take nine steps in a straight line, heel to toe, turn around and take nine more steps. Failing to follow instructions, using arms for balance, turning incorrectly or stumbling several times will alert the officer that the driver had too much to drink. As with other FSTs, the officer will ask a few questions after the initial stop, to assess whether an FST is necessary.
In addition to the Walk-and-Turn results, police officers also consider actors such as alcohol smelling breath, red or glossy eyes, slurred speech, failing other FSTs and breath tests before making an official arrest. Someone might pass the WAT but still get arrested due to other factors.
The WAT is also not 100% accurate. Approximately 1/3 of all drivers who fail the test are within the legal blood alcohol limits. This is something Mr. Weiss might use in the DUI defense. A suspect is not required to take an FST. Refusing will most likely get a suspect arrested, but there will also not be a failed test for prosecution to use in the case.
An experienced DUI attorney such as Mr. Weiss will look for various factors to use in the suspect’s defense. They might include the surface selected by the officer might have been too uneven, slippery or muddy. The suspect might not be physically or mentally able to perform the test, and traffic and/or lights might impede the ability to perform the test.
As mentioned before, the Walk-and-Turn is one of three field sobriety tests in Nevada. Read here about the other two; One leg stand test and Horizontal gaze Nystagmus test.
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