Stirling & O'Connell

The walk and turn test

Drivers in South Carolina who have been arrested and charged with an offense for suspected driving under the influence may well have been asked to participate in select tests before they were formally arrested. These are referred to as field sobriety tests. According to, these roadside tests are designed to provide an officer with enough evidence to support placing a driver under arrest by showing that they may potentially be impaired.

One of the tests used is called the walk and turn test. It requires you to take nine steps in a straight line one direction and then pivot around and return along the same line. Every step must be taken by touching the front foot's heel to the back foot's toe. You must also count each step out loud as you take it. You are not allowed to use your arms to help maintain your balance. In fact, your arms must be kept firmly by the sides of your body.

This test is only said to be accurate 66 percent of the time. Anyone who has problems with balance may be at a disadvantage for passing this test regardless of any alcohol consumption. Problems with your knees, hips or back are just some things that can interfere with your balance.

If you would like to learn more about what is involved in the walk and turn test and how accurate this test really is, please feel free to visit the field sobriety test page of our South Carolina criminal and drunk driving offense website.

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Stirling & O'Connell Law Office

884 Johnnie Dodds Blvd
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Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

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