Though the One-Legged Stand is one of the three Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) approved in the State of Georgia, it’s results are subjective, and there are many reasons why one might not be able to perform this test to an officer’s satisfaction that have NO RELATION to whether or not that driver was impaired or under the influence of alcohol.
The One-Legged Stand field sobriety test is, like the Walk and Turn, not scientific. It is an opportunity for the officer to observe not only your physical dexterity, but your ability to pay attention to and follow directions. The results are subjective, and, like any and all Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs), you DO NOT have to participate.
The officer will ask you to stand in one place and hold one foot six (6) inches above the ground. While you are holding this foot off the ground, the officer will ask you to count out loud, “in thousands,” until you are told to stop. The officer will tell you that you must keep your eyes on your feet, your arms at your side, and your toes straight while you perform this test.
When administering this test, the officer is looking for four (4) clues. He or she is looking to see if you use your arms to stay balanced, if you sway or hop while trying to balance, and if you put your foot down before the officer tells you the test is over. In Georgia, meeting at least two (2) of these criteria can justify an arrest for Driving Under the Influence.
Remember: The officer likely already suspects you of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), and is just looking for more evidence to stack against you. The officer’s initial suspicions may very well affect his or her opinions on whether you performed this test adequately.
Remember, too, that this test is never performed in a vacuum. It must be performed under optimal conditions (the best being a hard, dry, level, unobstructed surface), and essentially expects people of all ages, physical and pre-existing conditions, to perform and be subject to the officer’s unchanging set of standards.
It may be unreasonable to expect a 65-year old man with arthritis to perform as well as a 22-year old ballerina, and the results can be surprising, but nonetheless, the criteria remain the same. As such, the officer’s conclusions are always subject to attack and interpretation by a skilled Canton DUI attorney. Contact Michael Vereen III today for your free consultation.