Thursday, October 25, 2018

DWI Misconception: I Think I passed (did well) on the Police Field Sobriety Tests





The walk and turn has over a hundred little steps, so even a 97% correct is a big fail. Police criteria on whether you pass or fail field sobriety is extremely subjective. What exactly is involved in the walk and turn test?
Can we defend this test just based on common sense? Read on to see how we attack the fundamentals of this rather easy test.


Field Sobriety Tests Must Be Instructed a Specific Way

Standardized means they must be given, instructed, demonstrated, and scored in a specific
way to be valid, and accurate. Every officer, trooper, and deputy must follow
protocols. 


As Defense Attorneys We Attack the Fundamentals of the Walk and Turn Test

Attacking the Validity of the Walk And Turn Test


Was there an actual straight line on the surface of the road
for my client to walk on or did she have to imagine one?

Isn’t it true that some people have difficulty with balance
even with nothing to drink?

People with problems insert here of a certain age, weight, or medical condition MAY have problems performing this test? Because not everyone is the same.

Did you allow my client to practice this test before you
began evaluating her?

You didn’t record the exact distance you say she failed to
touch her heel to her toe did you?

So you cant say for certain if it was a half inch or three
inches  can you?

But a half inch is almost touching isn’t it?

Isn’t it true that it is unnatural to do a walking test
without raising the arms?

Must Follow the Pre-instructions of the walk and turn first: 

Heel- toe position while you gave instructions
Right foot online
Left foot on line 
Arms at side
Remain still until you tell him to begin

Over a 100 is the Number of things to do on the Walk and Turn:

Start when you say
18 steps on an imaginary line
18 counts out loud
18 times to heel to
toe within a ½ inch of the foot on each step
18 times count in sequence
arms at sides for all 18 steps
18 times looking at her feet
4 things on turn  pivot on one foot and 3 pivot steps

What she did right/correctly?



Remember ONLY 3 mistakes, mis steps, failure to meet any criteria is a FAIL. 

Newman and Cyr is a boutique DWI defense firm who covers the Finger Lakes area of upstate New York. We know the law and the science behind successful DWI and DWAI defense.