What is the one-leg stand test?

If you have ever wondered exactly what happens when a person is asked to perform a field sobriety test by officers, you are not alone. Many people in Pennsylvania have heard stories about these tests or maybe even seen some versions of them portrayed on television or in movies but they may not fully understand what is involved.

As explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org, there are three unique tests that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has approved for use by officers prior to making a drunk driving arrest. The purpose of these tests is to provide enough evidence to support the officer placing the driver under arrest for suspected drunk driving. It is important for drivers to know that none of the field sobriety tests are completely accurate.

One of the tests requires that you stand on one leg with the other a half a foot off the ground. You must maintain a gaze on the lifted foot and count until you are instructed to stop. If you even so much as tap your lifted toe to the group or remove your hand or arm from your side in what may be said to be an attempt to help you balance, you may be at risk for failing this test. Medical conditions involving balance, joint or soft tissue issues especially in the back or legs may contribute to your inability to pass this test.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Pennsylvania an overview of the one-legged stand test often used by law enforcement officers in a drunk driving investigation.