One Leg Stand Test

What does One Leg Stand Test mean?

The one leg stand test is one of the three standardized field sobriety tests established by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA claims that if the field officer administers the one leg stand test correctly it can be up to 65% accurate in determining if a driver has a blood alcohol content level above .10%.

To administer the test correctly the officer must first explain and demonstrate the test. The driver must stand with their feet together and their hands by their sides. Next, the driver must raise each of their legs (alternately) approximately six inches off the ground while keeping their hands at their side. Next, the driver is asked to count upwards starting at 1,000. To determine if the driver is intoxicated the officer will evaluate if the driver is swaying, if they have to use their arms to keep their balance, or if they hop on their anchor foot to keep balance. If the driver puts their foot down on the ground three or more times the test is discontinued.

After a DUI stop other field sobriety tests as well as a breathalyzer test are generally performed in addition to the one leg stand test. It is not unusual for individuals who are overweight, elderly or who have a debilitating medical condition to have difficulty performing the one leg stand test.

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