The next standardized field sobriety test adopted by NHTSA is the Walk and Turn. The DUI suspect is told to place their left foot on a line, real or imaginary, and to place their right foot in front of their left foot touching heel to toe. The suspect must place the arms at their sides, and remain in this “Instructional Position” while the police officer explains the test instructions. The suspect cannot start the test until the police officer states, “Begin.”
The Walk and Turn field sobriety test instructions are:
- When told to begin you will walk nine heel to toe steps, turn, and take nine heel to toe steps back;
- During the turn keep your front foot on the line, and execute the turn by taking a series of small steps with your other foot;
- While walking, keep your arms at your sides, watch your feet at all times and count out loud each step;
- Do not stop until you have finished the test.
The suspect is asked if they have any questions. If there are no questions then the police officer will tell the suspect to begin the test. The police officer is looking for the following:
- Inability to remain in the Instruction Position;
- Starting the test too soon;
- Stopping during the test;
- Failing to touch heel to toe;
- Stepping off the line (a real or imaginary line);
- Using the arms for balance;
- Executing an improper turn;
- Taking an incorrect number of steps.
If the DUI suspect misses heel to toe once with a gap of 1.5 inches or greater, the suspect will have failed the heel to toe requirement. The police officer looks for other clues as well.