How does the one-leg stand test work?
If you are like most people in New York, the sight of flashing blue lights in a rear view mirror can make your heart start pounding faster than normal. You might even start breathing more rapidly or shallowly due to an increase in nervousness. If during your conversations with an officer, you are asked to perform field sobriety tests because it is suspected that you may have alcohol in your system, these symptoms may exacerbate. In fact, these things may even hinder your ability to perform these tests accurately.
As FieldSobrietyTests.org explains, the tests used during an investigation for suspected driving under the influence are not 100-percent accurate. One of the tests is called the one-leg stand test and it measures your ability to balance and your ability to execute multiple instructions at once. Both of these things may be compromised when you are extremely nervous or scared. If you have a physical or medical condition such as problems with a hip or knee joint, your ability to pass this test could be hindered even more.
In the one-leg stand test, you must balance on one foot with no use of your arms for assistance. You must also count as instructed by the officer. Putting a foot down too early, miscounting or using your arms to maintain your balance may all be part of what officers cite as reasons for your failure of this test.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give people in New York who have been arrested for drunk driving an idea about what the one-leg stand field sobriety test looks for and what may interfere with its accuracy.
Neil S. Ruskin
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