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Walk-and-Turn Test

Interviewer: Okay. Let’s go over some of the tests and talk about what the police officers are going to be looking for in each one of these tests. Now I understand there are three main ones for the most part, but I’m going to probably throw in a few that I’ve heard of before. Let’s start off with the walk-a-straight-line test or sometimes it’s called the walk-and-turn test. What does that one consist of?

Adam Hunt: Typically they want them to walk so many paces down the line of the road. Usually it’s a shorter line, and they’ll usually go heel to toe with their arms out to their sides. Then, once they get to whatever number that the officers told them to walk, they’ll have them turn around and return walking the same way or towards the officer.

Interviewer: In this particular test, I always hear about this concept of an invisible line. What is that about? Have you heard of that?

Adam Hunt: I haven’t heard that.

Interviewer: When individuals are asked to do this test, what examples of misinterpretation do you think occur during this portion?

Adam Hunt: I guess probably they think they’re walking a straight line, but the width of the line maybe is too wide for them to make the call and they’re just keeping their feet on the line versus maybe going a little over to the left or right to these lines. The line is so wide.

Interviewer: I looked back at my notes here about the invisible line, where an officer would tell them to walk an invisible line, and if the client were to walk in a direction that the police officer deems as not straight, that would count against them. Have you ever seen something like that happening maybe?

Adam Hunt: Right, when there are no lines for them to test against like the white line, they might use that or they might just try and use that because they know that people do poorly on it. Unless you have something picked out as a target and then they’re just telling you to walk straight, it’s not an easy thing to do.

By: Adam Hunt

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