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One Leg Stand Test Defenses

Even if you’ve never been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you may be familiar with some of the most common field sobriety tests (FSTs) that law enforcement officials administer to suspected drunk drivers. From walking an imaginary line to balancing on one foot, these tests may appear fairly simple. However, as a number of the drivers who are arrested for DUI after failing them are aware, these tests are not nearly as easy as they appear—and unfortunately, they are also far from reliable. As a result, a number of defenses can be used to prevent your field sobriety tests from being used against you in court. For example, here are some of the most common one-leg stand test defenses:

If an officer suspects you are under the influence of alcohol, he or she may ask you to perform a one-leg stand test. As indicated by its name, this test involves standing on one leg for a set period of time. To perform the test properly, your foot must be raised six inches off the ground, and your other foot parallel to the ground with your toe pointing forward. With your arms placed by your side, the officer will then instruct you to look down and count aloud for 30 seconds.

As you perform the test, the officer will observe your behavior to see if you show any signs of impairment—such as a lack of coordination and/or balance. Therefore, if you sway, hop, attempt to use your arms for balance, or place your foot on the ground during the test, you will most likely fail, and the officer may place you under arrest as a result.

Of course, there are a number of reasons other than alcohol that can affect a person’s ability to perform a one-leg stand test. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there must be adequate lighting and sufficient room in order for the test to be properly conducted. Certain conditions—such as the weather and traffic or the type of shoes you are wearing—can also impact your test performance.

If you were recently arrested for DUI after failing a one-leg stand test, you may need to obtain legal representation to prevent your results from being used against you in court. Given the unreliable nature of these tests, it’s important for your results to be accurate—and only a skilled DUI defense attorney can determine whether they are.

To receive a free, no-obligation consultation on your case, simply complete our online form today and an attorney in your area will contact you shortly to discuss the results of your one-leg stand test.

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