One Leg Stand

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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