The police may use one or more field sobriety tests such as the one leg stand test if a driver is pulled over for suspected drunk driving. This test is among those established by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to assess sobriety. If arrested, a Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney can review the circumstances of any tests and whether they may be challenged in court.


Procedures for Conducting a One Leg Stand Test

First, the driver must stand upright with his or her arms at the side and with feet together. He or she must then raise one leg off the ground (about six inches) with the toes pointed to the front. The driver must stay standing on one leg for 30 seconds. The offender must count in a manner such as one thousand one, one thousand two and so on until one thousand thirty.

The police officer must demonstrate the field sobriety test and ensure that the offender fully understands what is expected of him or her before starting. If the offender drops the foot during the test, the officer will ask the person to try again, starting from where he or she left off. If a person sways, hops or uses his or her arms for balance during the test, then the police officer may make an arrest for drunk driving.

The one leg stand test, when done alone, cannot accurately confirm if a person’s blood alcohol content is above the legal limit of .08. It can, however, measure whether or not it is appropriate to arrest an offender and ask him or her to submit to additional testing. Still, those arrested may consult a Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney about the use of the test to make an arrest or demonstrate impairment.

Accuracy of the One Leg Stand Test

According to the DUI Foundation, the one leg stand is accurate in determining BAC above .10 about 65 percent of the time. Data from the NHTSA shows that when the one leg stand test is used in combination with two other field sobriety tests, it has about a 91 percent accuracy rate.

Further, not all officers are properly trained to conduct the test, and officers do not always accurately interpret the results. In order for this field sobriety test to be done accurately, the land must be level and dry. If a person is wearing high heels, the shoes must be removed.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some people may be unable to carry out these tests properly, even when sober, such as:

  • the elderly;
  • those who are overweight; and
  • those who have problems with their legs, back or middle ear.

Therefore, alternative DUI testing must be performed. If it is not, a Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney may question use of the test and its results.

Contacting a Fort Lauderdale DUI Attorney

A DUI is a serious crime that can have long-lasting effects like:

  • license suspension;
  • community service;
  • fines;
  • jail time;
  • increased auto insurance rates; and
  • the inability to work in certain professions.

Those who have been arrested for DUI as a result of field sobriety tests – or other methods of assessing impairment – may contact a Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney for legal defense. A lawyer may examine and possibly challenge results of these tests, such as the one leg stand test.