The last “test” for us to review in our series on the standardized field tests is the One Leg Stand. The name is pretty descriptive as to the task the officer will request you to perform. Again, the devil is in the details when attempting to accomplish the test.
The one leg stand is performed by picking one leg, the left or the right is fine. You will keep the leg of your choice planted firmly on the ground and lift the other foot up, keeping both legs straight and begin counting using the one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three . . . technique. Your hands must remain at your side and not used to balance yourself. You must remain looking at your raised foot.
Some officers will instruct you to count from one thousand one to one thousand thirty. Other officers will just tell you to begin counting one thousand one, one thousand two and continue until they tell you to stop.
Important things to remember…
1. The test is extremely difficult, if not impossible to perform, if you have injured legs, knees, feet (personally, my previous injuries would prevent me from trying this task if suspected of DUI)
2. While the legs must remain straight . . . don’t lock out your knee
3. Keep your hands at your side
4. Focus on counting, this distracts you form focusing on balancing or the pain of standing on one leg
5. Stare at your foot – don’t allow room for distractions
6. Do not put your foot down until told to do so or you reach the number the officer stated you could stop at
Again, all field sobriety tasks are very, very difficult to pass under real life conditions. Try this task in private then try it with friends and family watch. Remember, there is no redo or start over while being tested for your freedom. Your foot doesn’t need to touch the ground to fail. You can fail by raising your hands, messing up your count or swaying.
Your freedom and my freedom are precious, I don’t trust mine to my ability to stand on one leg!!! If you have been charged with a DUI, contact Bluestein Johnson & Burke immediately by filling our our online contact form.