Question: What are some defenses for someone who failed walk-and-turn test in Maryland?
Answer: Well, for a client who failed the walk-and-turn test: first of all that’s where the officer would ask you to stand with your right foot in front of your left, and listen to his instructions on the street there and then he will ask you to perform the test, which involves taking nine steps and at the end of nine steps to pivot around your lead foot and then take nine steps back, heel-to-toe, touching heel to toe with your arms at your side and then counting out the steps as you go. The first time that you hear this test it can be difficult to follow because the officer is issuing all kinds of directions at you on the side of the street at night with cars and trucks going by. So hearing the directions in and of themselves can be a problem. If one is dyslexic or ADHD, following a number of directions under these circumstances can be difficult. And then from physical disabilities, as with the one-leg stand, walking in a straight line heel-to-toe, heel-to-toe can be difficult for people that have been in accidents, have back problems or leg problems. So these can all impact one’s ability to perform the test, as can any number of other health conditions.
A diabetic condition could prevent this type of scenario and would also lend itself to the officer thinking a person is impaired when they truly are not impaired. So, there are a number of defenses that can go well beyond what I can describe to a listener in this short presentation, but there are number of defenses that would affect a person’s ability to walk, to turn, to hear, to understand, comprehend or physically may limit them. A person being overweight or obese can have an impact. Somebody who’s been in an accident as a result of this alleged arrest right here, a person under those circumstances should not be asked to perform the test and officers will frequently ask such a person to do field tests, which is just absolutely ridiculous and another reason why people should simply refrain from performing the walk-and-turn test. It’s just a ridiculous thing that the court and the prosecution puts way too much creed on.