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One-Leg Stand


One-Legged Stand DUI Sobriety Test

One-Leg Stand DUI Sobriety Test

The One-leg Stand test is another of the standardized field sobriety tests. It is almost always used during a Missouri DWI or Kansas DUI stop so, if you are arrested, chances are you took the one leg stand test. One key clue of impairment that officers look for is whether a motorist performing the field sobriety tests is able to divide his or her attention between multiple tasks.

The one-leg stand test is designed to test your impairment level by dividing your attention between mental and physical tasks. The one-leg stand is the least accurate of the three standardized field sobriety tests – i.e. it is the least predictive of impairment. Officers look for four specific signs or “clues” of impairment when administering the one-leg stand field sobriety test:

1. The person cannot maintain balance on one foot;

2. The person uses his or her arms to maintain balance;

3. The person hops; and

4. The person puts his or her foot down during the test.

An effective, common sense argument against the one-leg stand test involves pointing out that the test asks you to perform an abnormal activity to determine whether you are normal or “not drunk.” No person would normally stand on one leg and count aloud in any normal real-life situation. The act itself, if observed independent of the stop, would likely classify you as a “suspicious person.”

The one-leg stand is difficult to perform because it requires a high level of balance, which many people do not naturally have. The test protocol is flawed because it does not consider whether the motorist ever had a leg, knee, ankle, back or neck injury; does not take your age into account (unless you are over a certain age); and does not account for intervening environmental factors such as weather, passing motorists, flashing police lights, and other distractions. It does not factor in whether you are overweight, are in poor physical condition, or whether you have had a head injury. All of these factors are important and should be considered as their presence can alter the test and result in a false positive.

Kansas City criminal lawyer Adam Peer understands the flaws inherent in this test, how to analyze the officer’s actions and how to point out the difficulty normal people have performing the one-leg stand test to judges and juries. If you have been arrested for a Missouri DWI or Kansas DUI, call Adam Peer right now for a free consultation.


Overland Park Criminal Law Attorney | Olathe Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer | Shawnee

phone icon PHONE (913) 553-4222
phone icon FAX (913) 416-4346