Drunk driving charges are nothing to laugh at. In fact, a drunk driving conviction can carry significant penalties that can have long-lasting consequences. To avoid these penalties and their ramifications, accused individuals need to carefully plan how to build the strongest criminal defense possible under the circumstances. One of the first steps in doing so is understanding how the prosecution builds drunk driving cases.Oftentimes, prosecutors look to evidence gathered by law enforcement officials during routine traffic stops to help build their cases. This usually includes field sobriety tests. One commonly utilized field sobriety test is the walk-and-turn test.Here, a police officer requires a suspected drunk driver to take a certain number of steps in a heel-to-toe fashion along a straight line.
After taking the steps, the test subject is expected to turn and take an equal amount of steps in the heel-to-toe fashion along the same straight line. While taking these steps, an individual is supposed to keep his or her arms stretched out to his or her side.
Police officers will look for signs of intoxication during both the instruction-giving phase and the test phase of this field sobriety test. The signs of intoxication may include poor balance, failing to walk in a straight line, failing to walk in heel-to-toe fashion, and even starting the test before instructions are completed.As often as this test is utilized, the fact remains that it is far from flawless. This means that police officers and prosecutors may come to rely on the walk-and-turn test to obtain drunk driving convictions when in fact the results of those test are inaccurate. This highlights why it is so important for accused drunk drivers to build the strongest criminal defense they can muster under the circumstances. Those facing drunk driving charges may therefore want to discuss their case with a skilled criminal defense attorney.