In the state of Alabama, field sobriety tests may be conducted in order to determine if you are driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Under Alabama's DUI statute found in code section 32-5A-191, you may be found guilty of a DUI not just for having a BAC above .08 but also for driving while impaired or intoxicated by any substances to an extent that you are unable to drive safely. Field sobriety tests including the DUI walk and turn test are used to help determine if your faculties are impaired to a dangerous extent.
Although the walk and turn test is used as evidence in a DUI case, it is inherently a subjective test that can produce inaccurate results for many reasons. If you are being charged with a DUI and a DUI walk and turn test is being used as evidence against you, the Birmingham DUI lawyers at theEversole Law Office may be able to help you to challenge the accuracy of the test and introduce doubt. If your guilt in a DUI cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the charges against you can be dropped or you can be found not guilty. If you live in Jefferson, Madison or Shelby Counties or elsewhere in Alabama and want to learn more about how the Eversole Law Office can help you to fight a DUI, contact our Birmingham DUI attorneys today for a free consultation by calling (866) 831-5292.
Alabama DUI Laws and the DUI Walk and Turn Test
The DUI walk and turn test is one of several field sobriety tests that you may be asked to submit to when law enforcement suspects that you are intoxicated. The walk and turn test is exactly what it sounds like: you will be asked to walk and turn for police officers. However, it is a bit more complicated than it sounds, since you will typically be made to walk heel-to-toe in a street line, then turn, then walk back again going heel-to-toe.
Many people who are not intoxicated can have difficulties with this type of test. A number of medical problems that affect balance or coordination can make this test impossible. Some people are also simply uncoordinated and have difficulty walking in this manner, especially when they might be feeling test anxiety as they stand at the side of the road under the strict scrutiny of police officers. All of this is made worse by the fact that there really is no objective measure of how well you have to perform on the walk-and-turn test in order to "pass" and not have the test used as evidence against you. Whether you are able to walk in a straight enough line and successfully complete the test will be up to the discretion of the officer.
Walk and turn tests can be used against you in a DUI case not only in the form of the officer testifying about what he has seen but also because a video is often taken from the dashboard cameras of officers at the scene. This video may be introduced as evidence in court and, if you appear to fail the test, the jury determining your guilt might get the wrong idea and not understand all of the circumstances surrounding why you failed.
As such, the best option you have is to refuse to take the DUI walk and turn test or other field sobriety tests. Although you give implied consent to chemical testing when suspected of DUI if you drive in Alabama, you do not have to agree to sobriety tests and can instead take a blood or urine test instead. Refusal to submit to a walk and turn test will give law enforcement less evidence to use against you in a DUI case.
If you have already taken a walk and turn test and are facing DUI charges, you can also raise doubts about whether the test or its results were accurate in order to chip away at the evidence against you and hopefully avoid conviction for a DUI.
At the Eversole Law Office, we have been able to successfully challenge the DUI walk and turn test and other DUI tests for many clients in order to get charges dropped or to win a not-guilty verdict. The sooner we take a case, the sooner we can begin to work with you to build evidence for a DUI defense and to challenge the DUI tests performed. That's why it's important to contact Steven Eversole as soon as you know you'll face DUI charges in Alabama. You can call us toll-free, fill out our confidential online case evaluation form or visit our office in downtown Birmingham.