Informational Website

Vermont DUI Walk And Turn Test

Vermont DUI Walk And Turn Test

One of the most common tests a law enforcement officer will use to determine a driver's level of impairment in Vermont is called the Walk and Turn Test, which is a type of roadside field sobriety test that gauges a person's level of coordination, ability to use fine motor skills and overall alertness. A failed roadside test alone is enough for an officer to have probable cause to make an arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

What Is A Walk And Turn Test?

A Walk and Turn Test is a type of field sobriety test that requires a driver suspected of drunk driving to take exact nine steps in front of them in a heel-to-toe fashion, turn around and walk back to the starting point. According to state law, a poor performance when completing the task can be evidence against a driver suspected of DUI and be deemed probable cause for arrest.

The purpose of Walk and Turn tests is two-fold: first it demonstrates a driver' ability to simply listen and follow directions. The second reason the test has been used for a prolonged amount of time is that is also tests balance, coordination and other skills known to diminish after consuming alcohol or drugs.

Problems With Walk And Turn Test

While the test is still widely used across the country to evaluate drivers, there are many potential problems that can arise due to the physicality of the test. In the past, drivers have complained that Walk and Turn Tests are unfair for the following reasons:

-Uneven pavement: Because the Walk and Turn test is often given on the shoulder of a road after a motorist has been pulled over, there is a chance that the pavement where the test is given might be uneven or have a grade to it, which could potentially cause a driver to stumble or seem off balance while walking, despite their level of intoxication.

-Injury or Disability: Some drivers that suffer from a physical disability or an injury may be unable to perform the physical task up to standards, despite their level of intoxication.

-Weather: If it has been raining or snowing outside or if it is abnormally windy, weather could affect the outcome of a Walk and Turn Test, causing test takers to slip or be thrown off balance.

-Stress: Some claim that just the simple stress of being tested, potentially on a busy road, can cause shakiness and instability in a driver when taking the test, regardless of how much they've had to drink.