Field Sobriety One Leg Stand Test in Atlanta
After being stopped by Atlanta Police, the DUI Task Force or the Georgia State Patrol on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), the driver will be asked to perform a series of roadside tests. These are the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests developed with support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of these tests, the least accurate may be the One Leg Stand Test (OLS) test. Law enforcement will use these tests to help determine whether they will arrest a driver for being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Law enforcement is trained in how to administer the One Leg Stand Test, as well as the other standardized tests. There are specific instructions to give, and criteria to watch and record in order for the police to properly administer the test. However, even when properly administered, the test can result in a high number of false positives; making the police score sober people as intoxicated.
Instructions begin with the officer demonstrating the test, asking if there are any questions, and observing the results. This starts with the subject standing with heels together, and arms at their side. The driver is then to raise one leg about six inches off the ground, with their foot pointed out, and eyes focused on the lifted foot. Holding the balancing position, the driver is to begin counting out loud: “one thousand and one, one thousand and two”, etc, until told to end their counting. The officer is to observe the test for approximately 30 seconds.
Pass/Fail the One Leg Stand Test
Although the test may appear to be a simple balance test, it is actually a “divided attention” test, requiring the test subject to perform mental and physical functions at the same time. In this case, the person is required to balance on one foot, while remembering to count as instructed. During these 30 seconds or so, the police are looking at specific signs to score the test, including swaying; use of the arms to balance; hopping in place; and putting both feet down before time is up.
Refuse All Field Sobriety Tests
As with all field sobriety tests, in the State of Georgia, you have the right to decline performing the One Leg Stand test. These tests are not mandatory, and test results can be used against a defendant for a conviction of driving under the influence. The police may arrest a driver if they refuse field sobriety tests if they have probable cause that the driver is intoxicated. However, the police may arrest a driver whether they take the field sobriety tests or not. If a driver wishes to decline the One Leg Stand test, they may simply reply that they have been advised by their lawyer to decline all field sobriety tests.
Problems With the One Leg Stand Test
Many people have a problem performing the One Leg Stand test. This could be because of health conditions such as obesity, back pain, leg pain, or balance problems. It could also be due to environmental factors, such as darkness, uneven ground, flashing police lights and passing car headlights. Additionally, if the officers do not correctly administer the test, it could be more difficult to pass the One Leg Stand test.
Experienced Atlanta DUI Defense Lawyer
Have you have been charged with driving under the influence anywhere in the Metro Atlanta area? If you or your loved one has been arrested, you need the courtroom experience of a DUI lawyer who knows all there is to know about field sobriety testing. A DUI arrest does not have to mean a conviction. I am certified as an instructor to teach police how to administer field sobriety tests. I will use my knowledge to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Call me anytime day or night so we can get started on defending your rights.