What is the One-Leg Stand Sobriety Test?

The One-leg stand is one of the most difficult field sobriety tests to perform even under the most ideal conditions. In this test, the officer asks the individual to stand with heels together and hands at the side. The person is then asked to raise one foot six inches from the ground while counting aloud from one-thousand one to one-thousand thirty.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration defines the proper administration of the one-leg stand test. Police officers routinely provide the wrong set of instructions, making it virtually impossible to accurately score your performance on this test to determine your level of intoxication.

You should ensure that this test was performed on a well-lit, dry and flat surface.

Proper Procedure for the One Leg Stand Sobriety Test

This test should be performed in a well let area so that the officer can clearly see your performance. You should also be allowed to perform the test with adequate lighting, so that you can accurately account for your movements and positioning. Without proper lighting, it will be hard for anyone to perform this test, since being aware of your surroundings can assist you in getting your bearings about you. Your eyes should be wide open as you perform this test to take full advantage of the sufficient lighting that should be present when you hold up your foot.

You should ensure that this test was performed on a well-lit, dry and flat surface. The surface on which you perform the test should be dry and non-slippery. If you were asked to perform this test on a slope, or on a surface that was slick or moist, make mention of this to your attorney immediately, as these things must be considered to determine your level of success on this test. Once again, the elderly and sick will have trouble with these tests stone sober; ensure your lawyer takes into account your personal health and age in evaluating your performance on this test.

Sobriety Testing Defenses Are Important

In counting aloud, try to recall how the officer asks you to count. Many officers will improperly ask the DUI suspect to count aloud until you are “told to stop.” This instruction is improper. The proper procedure for the one-leg-stand requires the officer to instruct you to count to 30 only. If the officer neglects this portion of the instruction, the accuracy of the test can be questioned by your lawyer.

Also, try to remember how far you counted. Did you get to a decent number before putting your foot down? If so, did you do more to pass the test than to fail it? After all, thirty numbers allow you to count aloud for some time; every number you get correct is a number that the officer cannot claim you got wrong. This helps your lawyer prove that your coordination was actually much better than the officer cares to admit in court.