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DUI One Leg Stand Test

Law enforcement officers are trained to test intoxication using field sobriety tests (FST). One common test a suspected driver may be administered is the “one leg stand” test.

The driver is instructed to stand on one leg for 30 seconds while the officer watches for balance. If the driver struggles to pass the test, it is reasonable to suspect his or her blood alcohol content is .10 or higher. Failing this test is sufficient reason for an officer to place an arrest.

There are five behaviors the officer is observing while the test is administered:
• Hopping
• Raising arms for balance
• Putting foot down
• Swaying
• Inability to complete test
If the suspect shows two or more of the behaviors, they meet the criteria to be arrested and charged with DUI. The more behaviors shown, the more convincing the testimony could prove to be.

But like the other field sobriety tests, there are flaws. For the test to be carried out accurately the driver needs to be in good physical condition, have sufficient lighting and the location must be on solid, flat ground with a dry surface.

The one leg stand test is not a very scientific way of measuring intoxication – in fact it’s not scientific at all! The general scientific community does not accept field sobriety tests as a measure of proving one’s intoxication levels.

With a qualified DUI attorney to represent you, you can fight for case even if you “failed” the One Leg Stand test. There are many defenses against the test that a qualified DUI attorney will present.