Walk & Turn

Columbus DUI attorney Peter Binning has taken numerous seminars in defending individuals charged with an Ohio DUI. One of the trainings he has completed concerns the set of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST), such as the Walk and Turn test.

The Walk and Turn test was developed to test whether you can perform mental and physical tasks simultaneously. During this test, the officer will ask you to walk heel-to-toe down a line, turn around at a certain point, and walk back. While you are doing this, the officer is looking for a number of actions that—in the eyes of the law—are evidence of your intoxication:

1. Inability to balance during the test
2. Starting too soon
3. Stopping while walking
4. Not walking heel-to-toe
5. Stepping off the line
6. Using arms for balance
7. Improper turn (or losing balance on turn)
8. Taking the wrong number of steps

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the presence of two or more of these actions is indicative of a BAC level of .08 or higher, with a 79% accuracy rating. However, the studies that reached this conclusion have never been peer reviewed and, fortunately for law enforcement, the original data has been destroyed, so Ohio DUI defense attorneys are unable to challenge this claim.

Despite not being able to attack the foundation of the Walk and Turn test, there are still a number of defenses that can be used to support you in a trial. Serious head trauma (which affects one’s balance no matter how long ago the injury occurred); injuries to the back, neck, hips, ankles, or legs; unclear or incorrect testing instructions from the officer; distractions from the road or the officer; weather conditions; and being overweight by as little as 50 pounds can all affect one’s performance of the Walk and Turn test.

If you have been charged with an Ohio DUI, call Columbus DUI attorney Peter Binning today for your free consultation. In order to retain your driving privileges and keep your record clear, it is important to hire an attorney as soon as possible to start building your defense. Call us today!