Law Offices of Michael T. Nolan, Jr.

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What is the walk-and-turn test?

A previous post took a look at the eye test or the horizontal gaze nystagmus test used by law enforecment as a means of collecting evidence to support a drunk driving arrest in New Jersey. Have you also heard about the walk-and-turn test? It is another of the three tests approved for this use. According to, the walk-and-turn test has been found to be 66-percent accurate.

Essential to this test are two distinct parts. The first part is when an officer must provide detailed instructions and a demonstration to you. After receiving the instructions, you should be asked to confirm your understanding of the test. From there, you will be asked to perform the test as shown. This includes walking with your arms and hands securely by the sides of your body. Your feet will proceed in a heel-to-toe fashion for nine paces before turning around and walking back for another nine paces. You will be asked to count out loud for every step you take.

Things that can hurt you in this test include any pausing, failure to put your front heel directly up to your back toe, not walking in an exactly straight line, the use of your hands or arms to keep you balanced and any error while counting.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give New Jersey residents an overview of one of the standardized field sobriety tests used prior to a drunk driving arrest called the walk-and-turn test.

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