If you have been arrested for OUI in Massachusetts, (Massachusetts calls all drunk driving OUI meaning Operating Under the Influence, it is the same as DUI or DWI) chances are the arresting police officer has asked you the to do the nine step walk and turn test. The nine step walk and turn test is one of the standardized field sobriety tests police officers give to people suspected of driving under the influence.
What are Field Sobriety Tests?
Field sobriety tests are by given police officers to usually at the side of the road determine someone’s level of sobriety. Years ago police used many different tests to determine sobriety. Today police used standardized field sobriety tests. Police officers are trained in how give and what to look for in giving such tests. Police officers are required to be certified in the National Highway Highway Traffic Safety DWI Detection. There police officers are trained in how to give and score field sobriety tests.
What Do Police Look For in the Nine Step Walk and Turn Test?
The nine step walk and turn test consists of two different phases, the Instruction phase and the Performance phase. The part where the police officer is giving the instruction is part of the test. The officer is supposed to ask the person to stand in a certain position while the test instruction are being given. The officer is also trained to tell the person not to begin the test until instructed. If the person begins the test early or cannot stand in the proper position the officer is supposed to score that as a cue.
The next phase of the test is the Performance phase. The Performance phase when the person begins the test. The person is to walk out nine steps counting each step while walking in a straight line while touching heel to toe. After nine steps the person is to turn around by taking a series of small steps rather than a swivel or pivot step. The person is supposed to walk back nine steps touching heel to toe and counting each step.
What are Police Looking For in the Nine Step Walk and Turn Test?
Police officers are looking for eight validated cues during the nine step walk and turn field sobriety test. The cues are 1) Person cannot keep their balance during the instruction phase 2) Person starts before the officer finishes instructions 3) Stops walking during the test 4) Does not touch heel to toe 5) Steps off the line 6) Uses arms for balance 7) Turns incorrectly 8) Takes incorrect amount of steps.
The police officer is looking for just two of the eight cues in order to claim the person failed the nine step walk and turn test and charge the person with a operating under the influence (OUI).
Patrick Donovan is Massachusetts DWI OUI DUI attorney. Attorney Donovan is a former assistant district attorney who has specialized training in the prosecution and defense of drunk driving cases. Attorney Donovan has appeared in over fifty courts in Massachusetts. Attorney Donovan is committed to providing the best dui defense to each of his clients. Call today for a free no obligation consultation.