Failed Field Sobriety Tests May Result in Getting DUI Charges In LA

There are several different field sobriety tests, one of which I blogged about here.

The one leg stand is one of many field sobriety tests administered by LA cops after you’ve been stopped on suspicion for driving under the influence.

The test is supposed to be administered objectively, according to the following standards (from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “NHTSA”):

1) Stand with your arms together and your feet by your sides (the officer is supposed to demonstrate).

2) The cop will tell you not to perform the test until he gives you permission (like “Simon Says”).

3) The cop will ask you if you understand.

4) Raise your leg, about 6 inches from the ground, with toes pointed out (officer is supposed to demonstrate).

5) Both legs must be kept straight, arms at your side.

6) Now hold that position and count out loud to 30, like this: “One thousand one..” etc., until told to stop.

7) Keep your arms to your side and keep your eyes on your raised foot.

8) The officer will ask if you understand all of these instructions before telling you to begin.

The following behaviors will be interpreted as signs of intoxication:

  • side-to-side or back and forth swaying;
  • using arms for balance;
  • hopping in order to keep balance;
  • putting foot down one or more times during the 30 second count.

According to research, the NHTSA says that a person with a BAC of .10 can hold this stance for 25 seconds, but seldom for 30 seconds. If you fail the stand for the full 30 seconds, or if you show two or more “clues” (like hopping or swaying), you are presumed to have a BAC of .10.

You tell me what this means for those of us who suck at athletics, who have vertigo, or who suck at multi-tasking.

Half the time, this test is administered incorrectly by the officer and you considered “drunk” for failing an incorrectly administered test.

You may need a lawyer to at least help you find your bearings after a DUI arrest. Give us a call for a free consultation.