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Is the walk-and-turn test actually effective?

When you're pulled over for a suspected DUI in Arkansas, you might be asked to perform a few field sobriety tests. One of the most widely known tests is called the "walk and turn", but just how accurate is it?

FieldSobrietyTests.org categorizes the walk-and-turn as a standardized field sobriety test. This means that there are standardized ways to carry out the procedure no matter where you are in the country, allowing for a better measurement system.

But is it actually accurate? In a walk-and-turn test, you must walk heel to toe in a straight line for nine steps, pivot, and then walk back. You need to keep your arms at your sides throughout the test, and you also need to count the exact number of steps you're taking.

Unfortunately, this can be difficult for just about anyone, even if you're entirely sober at the time of the test. There are many different factors that can affect balance. For example, people with chronic ear conditions, sinus infections, or other illnesses that result in inner ear damage may not be able to maintain balance well. This is especially true if you aren't allowed to use your arms for aid, or if you need to divide your focus to count your steps.

Field sobriety tests aren't always going to secure a result in court. Even if you failed the walk-and-turn test, with the right legal assistance, you may be able to prove that the test's results were not accurate and have it dismissed.

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