Maryland DUI Walk and Turn Test
Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Maryland can be a life-changing experience—especially if you are convicted of the offense in criminal court. In addition to paying a massive fine, you may lose your driver’s license and/or spend time behind bars. Unfortunately, if you were arrested after failing a Maryland DUI walk and turn test, some of the most damaging evidence in your case may be based on flawed test results. As a result, you should discuss your case with an experienced attorney immediately after your arrest.
As one of three field sobriety tests approved by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the walk and turn test is a most common tool used by law enforcement when a person is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. Although the test is designed to help officers evaluate a driver’s coordination and balance, as well as other abilities required to operate a vehicle, the test is far from 100% reliable due to its subjectivity.
To perform the walk and turn test, your feet must be placed in a heel-to-toe position as you take nine steps forward, pivot, and return to your original starting position. As you perform the test, you must also count each step you take out loud. If you stumble, lose your balance, or are unable to perform the test in its entirety, you may be arrested and charged with DUI.
Even if you fail the walk and turn test, you may not actually be impaired. If you have vision problems, are overweight, or suffer from medical disorders such as vertigo, you may be unable to perform the test correctly. Your test results could even be affected by the type of shoes you are wearing or the weather at the time you were tested.
In light of the test’s subjectivity, many drivers are able to successfully challenge their walk and turn test results and avoid the penalties associated with a drunk driving conviction. If you were recently arrested for DUI in Maryland, make sure you discuss your results with a skilled DUI defense attorney in your area before your case is reviewed by a judge in criminal court.
To learn more about Maryland's drunk driving laws, download your free copy of The Maryland DUI Fact Book. Bruce Robinson is also available 24/7 to answer your questions; simply call (443) 524-7395.