Common Louisiana DUI Field Sobriety Test – Walk &Turn Test

The walk-and-turn (“W&T”) test is commonly used by law enforcement, after someone suspected of violating the Louisiana DUI statute or “driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” is pulled over. While undergoing the W&T test, the suspect is directed to take nine heel-to-toe steps in a straight line, turn on one foot, and return by taking another nine heel-to-toe steps in the opposite direction. A standard W&T test is administered:

  1. On a designated straight line;
  2. On a dry, hard, level, and non-slippery surface, with sufficient length for completing 9 steps;
  3. By an “initial” stage where the officer gives the suspect verbal instructions to: (1) place his left foot on a line; (2) then place his right foot on the line in front of his left foot; (3) place his arms at his sides; (4) maintain that position until instructions are complete; and (5) confirm whether he/she understands the instructions.
  4. Ending with a “walking” stage, where the officer gives the suspect verbal instructions to: (1) take nine heel-to-toe steps, turn, and take nine heel-to-toe steps back; (2) keep his front foot on the line, and turn by taking small steps; (3) keep his arms to the side; (4) count the steps out loud; and (5) walk until competition of the test.

W&T tests usually offer experienced Louisiana DUI defense lawyers an opportunity to challenge the results of the tests, due to:

  • Procedural errors committed by the police officer while administering the test;
  • Age, weight, and/or physical ailments creating difficulty performing the W&T test;
  • Weather; and
  • Footwear of the suspect affecting his/her ability to walk straight or maintain balance.

A Louisiana DUI can have other serious consequences, so if you’ve been arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, contact a skilled Baton Rouge DWI/DUI lawyer at the Russell Law Firm. The Russell Law Firm represents clients in DWI cases throughout the State of Louisiana, including the parishes of East Baton Rouge Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, Plaquemines Parish, Livingston Parish, Ascension Parish, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, St. Charles Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Assumption Parish, Lafayette Parish, Lafourche Parish, Lafayette Parish, St. Landry Parish, Evangeline Parish; and the cities of Baton Rouge, Livingston, Denham Springs, Walker, Gonzales, Donaldsonville, Port Allen, Brusly, Addis, Lafayette, Napoleonville, Kenner, Harvey, Marrero, Estelle, Gretna, Metairie, New Orleans, Terrytown, Westwego, Ville Platte, Eunice, Opelousas, Thibodaux, Houma, Belle Chasse, and Hahnville.

DWI Lawyers at the Russell Law Firm, LLC are skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable about the Louisiana DWI laws, related non-DWI statutes, and how to evaluate evidence that law enforcement and prosecutors might try to use against you. If you or someone you know is facing a potential DWI conviction, contact a DWI attorney at the Russell Law Firm at 225-307-0088. We offer free, no obligation initial consultations.

Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice.

****The photograph above is not a depiction of any actual event or scene, but merely a dramatization.

By: Danny D. Russell, Esq.