One-Leg Stand Test
How a DUI Defense Attorney in Chicago Can Challenge the Results
If suspected of driving under the influence, a law enforcement officer
may ask you to perform a series of
field sobriety tests—one being the "one leg stand". This test requires the
suspected drunk driver to stand with their heels touching and their arms
at their sides. They are then asked to raise one foot—whichever
they prefer—about six inches off of the ground for 30 seconds. They
will be asked to count out loud while looking down at their foot until
thirty seconds have elapsed. This test is designed to asses balance and
coordination, as these are often impaired when an individual becomes intoxicated.
When administering this test, however, there are several regulations that
an officer must follow for the results to be considered valid and/or accurate.
An officer is not advised to ask anyone over the age of 65 or more than
fifty pounds overweight to perform this test. If an individual suffers
from physical impairments or is wearing high heels more than two inches,
it could also produce skewed results. Before asking a suspected drunk
driver to perform this test, an officer is required to demonstrate exactly
how the test should be performed and then receive confirmation that the
individual understands the instructions. If they fail to follow any of
these regulations, the test may yield faulty conclusions.
Scoring Factors for the One-Leg Stand Test
The way a field officer is trained to score and observe this test is based
on several factors, including:
- If the DUI suspect is swaying back and forth or hopping to maintain balance
while standing on one foot, it might give the officer reasonable cause
to believe that the individual is under the influence.
- If the suspected drunk driver brings their arms away from the side of their
body and uses them to balance, they could be marked down.
It is important for the officer to observe the test from at least three
feet away and remain as motionless as possible, as it may cause an interference
with the test, however.
Accuracy of the One-Leg Stand
If you have been charged with a
DUI as a result of a failed field sobriety test, it is imperative that you
explain the circumstances of your arrest with a knowledgeable attorney.
There are several ways in which these tests can be improperly administered,
so it is necessary in your defense to know your rights so that you are
aware of when they are violated. Field sobriety tests are not always accurate.
Whether you were influenced by external conditions or the test was not
properly conducted, do not hesitate to seek the assistance that you will
need to fight your DUI charge.
Call the Law Offices of Mitch Furman today to schedule your
free initial consultation.