The One Leg Stand Test is one of the least accurate field sobriety tests in use today. Yet for some reason, police officers and highway patrol across the country still use these tests anytime they pull someone over on suspicion of drunk driving. These tests are nowhere near 100% accurate, so what do people do them when they don't have to? These tests are not required, and are completely voluntary. They almost never help you, and can easily be used against you.
What is the One Leg Stand Test?
The One Leg Stand test is one of three standardized field sobriety tests used to see if a driver might be intoxicated. The driver is instructed is to raise one leg approximately six inches off the ground, keep both legs straight, and while holding that position, count out loud until told to stop. This goes on for a full 30 seconds. But depending on how police do the test, it could go on for longer, giving the driver even less chance of success.
Atlanta police and Georgia State Patrol officers are trained how to administer the One Leg Stand test, while they check for factors to indicate a driver may be under the influence. They are supposed to watch how the driver performs, looking for specific signs and marking down their observations, including any evidence of:
- Swaying motion or unsteadiness;
- Hopping up and down on one foot;
- Using their arms for balance; and
- Lowering their foot before the end of 30 seconds.
The reason the police have the driver count while standing on one foot is not because they don't have a watch, they are secretly testing balance and the ability to count at the time. This is known as a “divided attention” test, which makes a person divide their attention between mental and physical tasks at the same time.
Even though the police get training on field sobriety tests, it may have been a long time since they were trained or since a refresher course. Just like anyone else, they may make some mistakes when they give the test. This is the kind of information that can be discovered, and used by an experienced, skilled DUI defense lawyer in court.
Failing the One Leg Stand Test
The bad news is after failing a One Leg Stand test, you may end up being arrested. The good news is that it doesn't mean you will get convicted for a DUI. The One Leg Stand test is notoriously inaccurate, and there are many things that make the test nearly impossible to complete. Someone with medical or physical limitations, including obesity or leg pain, will find it difficult or painful to do.
One Leg Stand Test Defense in Atlanta
Police officers have only had a few days of training in field sobriety tests. Somehow, the police use this training to try and diagnose the level of a person's alcohol impairment which really requires the training of a medical professional. An Atlanta lawyer specializing in DUI defense will have the same field sobriety test training as the police, and is able to identify the best defenses to use and get any DUI charges reduced or dropped entirely.
Even if you failed the One Leg Stand test, or any of the other field sobriety tests, you still have rights. Field sobriety tests are inaccurate and should not be the basis for you losing your license, fighting fines and penalties, and paying outrageous insurance premiums. Call Lawson and Berry so together we can fight the DUI charges against you. We understand what field sobriety tests really mean because we had the same Standardized Field Sobriety Testing as our Atlanta police officers. Call our office 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.