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Get a leg up when fighting the results of a one-leg stand test

Getting pulled over for suspected impairment is not a small thing. One's behavior and cooperation with police are very important in such a situation. If any signs that you might be impaired are present, the officer will likely ask you to take part in field sobriety testing. One test that police commonly administer in Tennessee and Kentucky and elsewhere is the one-leg stand test.

What exactly is the one-leg stand test? Is it accurate? Can I refuse?

One-leg stand basics

The one-leg stand test is just what is sounds like. If asked to perform it, you will need to raise one foot off the ground, stare at it and count until told to stop. While doing this action, your hands have to stay by your side and you cannot do anything that helps you maintain balance, such as:

  • Swaying from side to side
  • Hopping
  • Lowering your foot
  • Using your arms

Any of these actions are signs of possible impairment. If an officer notices you doing at least two of them, the officer will likely arrest you and charge you with DUI.

How accurate is this test anyway?

Some believe it is extremely accurate. Others claim it to be accurate only about 65 percent of the time. However, if a person suffers from certain medical conditions, they may fail the one-leg test even if they haven't been drinking. Such medical conditions include:

  • Tremor
  • Inner ear infection
  • Motion sickness
  • High blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nerve damage in legs
  • Anxiety

If you believe that a medical condition contributed to the test failure, you may use it as a defense. In order to do so, you will likely need to supply proof of the health issue in court.

Along with medical conditions, other factors that can affect the results of this test include your age, weight and the type of shoes you were wearing during the testing.

Fight your DUI charge

Refusing to take part in field sobriety testing in any of its forms is your right. It is, however, not without consequences. To learn more, ask your legal counsel.

Facing a DUI charge can be disheartening. Serious consequences can follow if you are convicted. Many drivers get a leg up on fighting their DUI charges by employing a skilled criminal defense attorney to handle the case. Your attorney may start with questioning the results of your field sobriety tests.

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