Field Sobriety Testing (One-Leg Stand)

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After being detained for driving under the influence in Fresno County, an individual will be requested to perform field sobriety tests. As we have mentioned in the past, an individual is under no obligation to perform field sobriety tests. Similarly, an individual over the age of 21 who is not on probation for driving under the influence is under no obligation to submit to a preliminary alcohol screening test. However, if arrested, you are obligated to submit to a chemical test. You should be provided with the option of submitting to a breath test or a blood test. If you elect to not submit to a chemical test, you will be charged with a refusal and the Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your driving privilege for a year or longer. Also, in Fresno County the law enforcement officer will likely force you to take a blood test.

One of the most commonly used field sobriety tests is the One-Leg stand. The One-Leg stand is one of three standardized tests recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In performing the One-Leg stand the officer should provide the individual with the following instructions:

Instruction Stage

  1. Please stand with your feet together and your arms down at your sides, like this. (Demonstrate)
  2. Do not start to perform the test until I tell you to do so.
  3. Do you understand the instructions so far?

Demonstrations and Instructions for the Balance and Counting Steps

  1. When I tell you to start, raise one leg, either leg, with the foot approximately six inches off the ground, keeping your raised foot parallel to the ground. (Demonstrate)
  2. You must keep both legs straight, arms at your side.
  3. While holding that position, count out loud.
  4. Keep your arms at your sides at all times and keep watching the raised foot.
  5. Do you understand?
  6. Go ahead and perform the test.

Test Interpretation

  1. The suspect sways while balancing.
  2. Uses arms for balance.
  3. Hopping.
  4. Puts foot down.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, if an individual shows two or more clues on the One-Leg stand test, there is a good chance that there BAC level is above .10%.

If you have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Fresno County, and were required to perform any field sobriety tests, you will want to verify that the arresting officer performed the test correctly. If you have any questions regarding whether the test was performed correctly, please contact an experienced Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney today.

If you have any questions regarding the services provided at the Law Office of Gregory W. Fox,
or would like to schedule your free initial consultation, please contact us today at (559) 222-5800. Hablamos español.