The walk and turn and the one-leg stand test are divided attention tests, NHTSA refers to these test as psychophysical tests. They test both physical impairment and cognitive impairment. The cognitive aspects of these two tests are often ignored by the arresting officer. The walk and turn test attributes two of the nine clues to cognitive impairment. These are: The subject starts before instructed to begin and takes an incorrect number of steps.

If the client only demonstrates clues having to do with balance, or the physical portion of the test, make the officer admit that the cognitive portion of the test was perfect. The one-leg stand test requires the client to count as the officer times him for 30 seconds. Contrary to popular belief (by police officers and lawyers), that test does not require the subject count to 30. The officer himself is responsible for timing this test. The counting portion is designed to determine whether the client can indeed count in sequential order while his attention is divided by holding his leg in the air.

Inquire as to whether your client added any numbers, omitted any numbers or confused the sequence. Because there is no section on the alcohol influence report for the counting portion, it is often over looked by the officer. Point out that your client showed no sign of cognitive impairment. No cognitive impairment is consistent with being sober.

Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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