If a Texas police officer pulls someone over in traffic under suspicion of drunk driving, he or she must determine probable cause to make an arrest. So, if tires touched the yellow line to prompt the traffic stop, it constitutes reasonable cause to stop a driver but not probable cause for an arrest. That must be determined during the traffic stop and is usually accomplished by asking a driver to take a DUI field sobriety test, such as the walk-and-turn test.
The walk-and-turn test is the most common DUI test administered during traffic stops. The problem with such tests is that they have a high rate of inaccuracy. The more a driver knows about the walk-and-turn test ahead of time, the less stressful it might be to navigate a traffic stop where a patrol officer asks to administer the test.
The DUI walk-and-turn test is not an obligation
A driver can decline when a Texas police officer asks him or her to take a walk-and-turn test. If the driver agrees to be tested and fails, the officer who administered the test can take the driver into custody for suspected DUI. While refusing to take the test is not a crime, if DUI charges are later filed, a prosecutor will no doubt inform the court that the defendant refused to take a field sobriety test as a means of incrimination.
How does a walk-and-turn test work?
Texas drivers who consider themselves clumsy may have great difficulty completing a walk-and-turn test, even when they are sober. To complete the test, a participant must walk a straight line with arms held out at shoulder length. With each step, the heel of one foot must touch the toes of the other. It is a test of balance but also a test to check if a driver can follow a series of simple instructions. If a DUI arrest takes place, the best thing to do is request legal representation right away.