So far we have reviewed the field sobriety tests in general, the alphabet
test and the HGN. Now we are going to examine the 9 step walk and turn.
The standardized field sobriety tests . . . HGN, 9 Step Walk and Turn and
the One Leg Stand can be performed in any order. Once the police officer
stops your vehicle and
suspects you have been drinking they will normally ask (tell) you to exit the vehicle and perform some tasks.
What is the 9 Step Walk and Turn Test?
The 9 Step Walk and Turn is a test which requires the driver to take 9
steps forward in a straight line, touching heel to toe with each step
and keeping their hands at their side. Once they complete the 9th step,
the driver is to pivot on one foot and then walk nine steps back to where
they began. This is all done while counting your steps out loud.
Personally, I would never attempt this test. Old sports injuries, being
on your feet all day, being tired or any other excuse is better than attempting
to walk a straight line while nervous and knowing your freedom is at stake.
One of the little known realities of a white or yellow line on the roadway
is that it is about the same width as an olympic balance beam!!!
It is very important if attempting the task to remember:
- The test actually begins when the officer tells you to stand with one foot
in front of the other and keep your hands at your side while he demonstrates
the task. This is referred to as the starting position
- Count out loud
- Touch the heel of the foot you are setting on the ground to the toe of
the foot already on the ground
- Keep your hands at your side
- You select your pace! Some people can walk better faster and some people
slower. Pick the pace best for you
- The pivot is being graded too. Keep one foot planted and turn using a series
of small pivots with the other foot. You should raise the heel of your
planted foot to make pivoting easier – pivot on your toes –
just not ballerina style!
- Repeat the procedure walking back, remember you are still being “graded”
Up next . . . the One Leg Stand
If you are
facing criminal charges,
contact Bluestein Johnson & Burke for professional representation. Protect your freedom and protect your rights!