The Walk and Turn is one of the standardized field sobriety tests police use to determine if someone is possibly drunk driving.These are the instructions that police give when administering the Walk and Turn:

Initial Instructions and Positioning 
  1. Place your left foot on the line. (Demonstrated)
  2. Place your right foot on the line ahead of your left foot, with the heel of your right foot touching the toe of your left foot (Demonstrated)
  3. Place your arms down at your sides. (Demonstrated though I don't know why. If you are too drunk to understand this instruction then you probably should have considered refusing to perform field sobriety tests.
  4. Stay in this position until the officer has completed the instructions. Do NOT start until told to do so.
  5. At this point the officer will ask if you understand the instructions so far - Remember that you have to stand in the position I just described. If you are drunk this momentary pause can prove very challenging. 

Instructions and Demonstration of Test 
  1. When the officer tells you to start, you will take nine hell-to-toe steps, turn, and take nine heel-to-toe steps back.
  2. When you turn, keep your front foot on the line and turn by taking a series of small steps with the other foot. 
  3. While you are walking you have to keep your arms at your sides, watch your feet at all times, and count out loud. 
  4. Once you start walking, don't stop until you have completed the entire test.
  5. The officer will then ask if you understand the instructions.
  6. When you begin, count your first step from the heel-to-toe position as "One."

Next, a Columbus DUI Lawyer will tell you what the police are trained to detect. Hopefully it will help you stay out of trouble. 


"Can you walk a straight line?"

The Walk and Turn is the field sobriety test that most people know about. However, walking a straight line is just one of EIGHT possible clues that Columbus Police look for when investigating you for DUI. Keep in mind that the line can be real or imaginary. The belief that you simply have to walk a straight line to pass this test is the reason that most people perform so awfully on this test. Always remember that the standardized field sobriety tests used to detect OVI are all about dividing your attention. A person impaired by drugs or alcohol will have much more difficulty processing multiple pieces of information at once. The following are the actual instructions the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tells law enforcement to give to a person suspected of OVI. The officer will give these instructions and even demonstrate some of them. . . but not all. Listen carefully! 

Columbus Police and other Ohio law enforcement agencies use a battery of tests to determine if a person is OVI. All of these tests are designed to gather evidence to be used against you if you are ultimately charged with DUI. Currently The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) only recognizes the scientific reliability of THREE of these tests in determining whether a person is drunk driving, DUI, or OVI. These three tests are more commonly known as Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. The first standardized field sobriety test that an officer should administer is called the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test aka the "the eye test."


Columbus DUI Detection Phase Two: Personal Contact cont'd

At this point in the DUI investigation the police officer has probably already determined that you will be asked to exit the vehicle and submit to Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, but why not make you look a little more foolish first. Now that the officer has used several techniques to determine whether you are OVI, he or she may use one or two more questions to catch you off guard and gather as much evidence to be used against you as possible. These questions seem simple on the surface, but when someone is impaired by alcohol or drugs answering them becomes much more difficult. In fact, these elementary level questions often make my clients look the worst. 


Columbus OVI Detection Phase Two: Personal Contact - Police Questioning Techniques

Most of the information in my two previous articles was fairly logical and straightforward. Today I'm going to give you the information the police do NOT want you to have. Columbus Police and other law enforcement agencies use specific questioning techniques during their "pre-arrest" DUI investigation. Once again, these techniques are taken directly from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) manual. NHTSA developed testing procedures to detect drunk driving after years of studying the effects of alcohol on your mental and physical capabilities. Obviously the effects of alcohol on the nervous system vary from person to person, but NHTSA found one extremely valuable common occurrence amongst their drunken test subjects. 


Columbus DUI Detection Phase Two: Personal Contact

Now you're pulled over and feeling panicked, agitated or possibly angry. Panic = you saw those red and blue lights suddenly lit up like the 4th of July, your heart skipped a beat or two (you may have thought a heart attack was imminent), and you started giving yourself a pep talk. Note: If you've started a pep talk, you need a Columbus DUI Attorney immediately.  Agitation and anger usually come from feelings like, "I didn't do anything wrong? Why would he/she possibly pull me over?" Now what? Well now the officer is going to use his knowledge, training and experience to detect whether or not you, as the driver of a motor vehicle, are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is where things start to get tricky. 
As stated in my previous post, all techniques and clues that Columbus police officers use in DUI detection are taken directly from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) manual on drunk driving. The first step in the Personal Contact phase of Columbus DUI investigation is called "pre-exit screening."


Columbus DUI Detection Phase One: Drunk Driving

Over the next few days I will try to give you some useful information regarding DUI testing procedure in Columbus; well in the State of Ohio actually. I hope this information isn't terribly boring and will be useful whether you are currently facing a DUI charge, or you're the type of person that just likes to be informed.

Police are looking for specific clues to give them probable cause to arrest a person for OVI or DUI. Unfortunately, most people being detained and investigated for DUI have no idea what the officer is looking for. Columbus Police are trained to detect DUI using the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's testing procedures (NHTSA manual). 

Big shocker: the first clues are those observed while you're driving. . . usually. If you're so intoxicated that you don't realize you're driving the wrong way down a one way street or you've been in an accident, well, that's going to be a problem. Other clues are much harder to detect. Here is a list of possible DUI indicators taken directly from the NHTSA manual:



Last week the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that state cannot prosecute a driver for marijuana DUI unless that driver shows indications that they are impaired by the drug at the time of the stop. This is a major victory in the battle to protect people's constitutional rights. 
The Court found that a certain chemical compound can be found in a person's blood or urine when they are under the influence of marijuana. Further, they found that  chemical compound is not present when a person regularly uses marijuana but is not under the influence at the time of arrest.