Understanding the one-leg stand test

If you are like most people in Minnesota, you have heard people talk about tests given to drivers suspected of being intoxicated before they are arrested for drunk driving. These tests aptly referred to as field sobriety tests, are standardized and approved for use by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org, the tests are not meant to nor can they prove that a person is drunk.

Field sobriety tests instead are used to collect evidence to support the possibility that a driver is drunk. This, in turn, supports an officer placing the driver under arrest. One of these tests is the one-leg stand test. The officer must first give verbal instructions and a live demonstration of what the driver is supposed to do. Only after doing this is the officer allowed to instruct the driver to perform the requested actions.

You would be asked to raise one foot about six inches off the ground and retain your gaze on that raised foot. With your hands firmly at your sides, you must then count in thousands until instructed to stop by the attending officer. Any difficulty in balancing or attempts to use your arms to balance or tap your foot down may result in a test failure. 

If you would like to learn more about the one-leg stand test or other tests used during a drunk driving investigation prior to placing a person under arrest, please feel free to visit the field sobriety tests page of our Minnesota criminal and drunk driving defense website.

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