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What is the one leg stand test?

When a person is pulled over by police for suspicion of driving under the influence, there is a good chance that he or she will be asked to partake in one or more field sobriety test. The one leg stand test, for example, is one of three NHTSA approved tests.

Known as a divided attention test, you are asked to divide your attention between a variety of tasks. The inability to do so gives the officer reason to believe that you may not be sober.

As the test begins, you are asked to stand with your feet together and your arms to your side.

Note: It is important that the test is conducted on a level, hard, and dry surface. If this does not happen, you may find it difficult to complete the test, even if you are sober.

Once all instructions are given, you are asked to stand on one foot, it doesn't matter which one, while raising the other roughly six inches off the ground. Some officers demonstrate how this should be done, while others do not.

The officer is looking for things such as using the arms to balance, swaying, putting the raised foot on the ground, or hopping.

When you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI, there is a very good chance that the officer will request that you take the one leg stand test. But here is the problem: This test is not 100 percent accurate. It can also be difficult for some people to complete, due to a medical issue or surrounding conditions.

Source: Blue Sheepdog, "DUI Training – One Leg Stand," accessed March 29, 2016

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