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Don’t be afraid to challenge the results of a walk-and-turn test

On Behalf of | May 15, 2020 | Criminal Defense

If you’ve been accused of drunk driving, then you’re probably trying to figure out what your best move is going forward. Some accused individuals in northern Virginia jump on plea deals offered by prosecutors, but doing so could seriously impact your future. A conviction on drunk driving charges could lead to jail time, license suspension or revocation, fines, and even professional license suspension if your occupation requires it. Do you really want to risk all of that?

Probably not if you can help it. That’s why you need to thoroughly consider your defense options. One path you might have is to challenge the validity of a field sobriety test. Since prosecutors often heavily rely on these tests to bring charges, aggressively attacking them could lead to a favorable outcome.

Let’s look at the walk-and-turn test as an example. Here, an officer directs you to take a certain number of steps in a straight line in a heel-to-toe fashion while keeping your arms held out at your sides. Once you’ve taken the identified number of steps, you’re required to pivot, turnaround, and walk back along the same line in the same way. The officer conducting the test will be looking for an inability to follow instructions and poor balance as signs of intoxication.

Yet, field sobriety tests, including the walk-and-turn test, are often unreliable. Instructions are poorly given, officers exaggerate observations, and the police often fail to take into consideration any other factors that could contribute to a failed test, such as one’s medical condition, uneven ground, or even the shoes an individual is wearing. However, it’s going to be up to you to challenge the evidence presented against you, whatever it may be, which means that you need to know the law and how to use it to your advantage. Therefore, if you’re facing drunk diving charges, then you might want to think about working with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can aggressively fight to protect your interests.