Field sobriety testing is a practice that is used to determine if a driver suspected of being under the influence is, in fact, intoxicated or impaired. There are far too many drugs that could potentially cause impairment to have a test for each one.
It is also not possible to do any blood work or a urine analysis on the side of the road. Breathalyzers can help estimate blood alcohol levels (BAC), but will not detect other drugs. So, officers generally have to rely on field sobriety tests to determine if a DUI charge is warranted or not.
The one-leg stand field sobriety test is a simple test, but not easy to successfully complete. Unfortunately, even non-impaired drivers may struggle with this test, and be falsely arrested for a DUI.
The test requires that the driver stand on one leg, with the arms down at the sides, and count to 30, in this pose. The arms cannot swing up, the foot must remain 6 inches off the ground, and if you lose your balance, expect the cuffs around your wrists.
Balance like that is hard for a lot of people, under normal conditions, and much harder when you are feeling nervous. Of course, if you don’t feel nervous with an officer waiting to arrest you if you fall, you should be congratulated for your nerves of steel. If you do stumble, however, a good DUI defense attorney may be able to successfully contradict the results of this imperfect measure of impairment.