Being arrested or accused of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a stressful and difficult experience for anyone. If taken into custody, your best option is to call and retain one of our experienced and thorough Fairfax DUI attorneys. The law firm of May Law, L.L.P is here to serve the citizens of Fairfax and has done so successfully for more than fifteen years.
Experienced DUI Lawyers Fairfax VA can Trust
Our law firm is dedicated to providing the most comprehensive, individualized, and sound legal counsel to our clients, re-enforced with a long history of success and dedication fighting for the people we serve. May Law, L.L.P. represents the accused of Fairfax with a diverse team of lawyers rarely found in most firms. We not only, practice law on behalf of our clients, but we also teach it to other lawyers and write the guide lines that are used here, in Virginia, which allows our firm a wealth of knowledge and experience when we attack your case. Once you contact one of our Fairfax DUI attorneys, you will receive the highest and most exhaustive legal representation in Virginia.
What is the walk and turn test?
The walk and turn test, also known as the WAT test, is one of three different field sobriety tests that may be used by law enforcement when trying to determine whether the driver or occupants of a car are under the influence of alcohol. These tests were enacted after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted research and showed that they can assist in identifying drivers who are under the influence.
The Walk and Turn Test
The walk and turn test involves a person who is walking heel to toe in a single file, straight line. When police use the WAT test, the person will be asked to take nine steps, turn around on one foot, and walk back nine steps.
Contrary to what a lot of people think in that the police are looking for a loss of balance, they are also trained to look for the following signs:
- Unable to listen to instructions and maintain a balance
- Starts the WAT test before the police gives the instructions or says to proceed
- Stops walking before taking all nine steps
- Does not walk heel to toe
- Does not walk in a straight line
- Takes the wrong number of steps
- Does not turn around properly
- Steps off of the designated line
- Uses their arms to balance
The WAT test is more than a balance test; rather it is looking to see whether or not the suspected drunken driver is able to give the police officer their undivided attention. A majority of unimpaired people can pass this test; however, impaired drivers struggle to complete it. Factors that could affect the ability for an impaired or unimpaired driver to complete the WAT test include:
- Health conditions
- Weather and road conditions
Passing the WAT Test
While a person is taking the WAT test, police will be scoring them based upon any of the signs of impairment. If two or more points are scored by police, the person will be considered under the influence and over the legal amount of alcohol (typically between 0.08 and 0.10 depending on the state).
What if Police Gave the Wrong Instructions for the WAT Test
Although police officers have been given training to conduct WAT tests and other standard tests, mistakes do occur. It is possible that a police officer will not give the standard instructions or may not accurately observe the person who is being given the test. When either of these errors occur, a DUI lawyer may be able to use this to the defendants advantage.
Can I Refuse the WAT TEST
It is your right to refuse the walk and turn test or any other field sobriety test; however, just because you do not wish to be tested does not mean you won’t be arrested. If you refuse the test, the police officer may assume you are impaired and will likely take you to the state for mandatory blood testing.
The average person is physically able to perform a walk and turn test; however, a small number of people will have certain physical or medical limitations. There have been cases in which a sober person has been so nervous that they were shaking or felt faint during the test. A police officer then mistook this for being impaired, and the individual was arrested a DUI. Similarly, obese people may find it difficult to balance; thereby are unable to walk a straight line. Even certain footwear hinder a person’s ability to correctly perform the WAT test.
If you believe you were wrongfully accused or charged of a DUI because of WAT test scoring, you should consult a DUI lawyer for advice.
Contact a Fairfax VA DUI Lawyer Today
DUI is a reality that all metropolitan areas must face. With over 22,000 residents, Fairfax is no exception. Prosecutors and police are ever more ambitious and aggressive; don’t allow them to make you another statistic in the Fairfax legal system. If you are accused and need a dedicated, knowledgeable, and experienced team of attorneys, our firm will ensure you get the full protection of your legal rights and adept representation throughout any legal proceedings. . If you come into conflict with the police, remember, the Fairfax DUI lawyers at May Law L.L.P. are here to help. Call us any time to make an appointment at our Fairfax office for a free consultation at (703) 455-0046.