One-Leg Stand SFST

Walk and Turn Standard Field Sobriety Test

Mesa DUI Lawyer for defense of DUI charges and Field Sobriety Tests

Walk and Turn Test | Administration | Signs of DUI impairment | Defenses | Mesa DUI Lawyer

One-Leg Stand Standard FST

The “Walk and Turn” test is one of three Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) developed and sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It is similar to the Walk and Turn Test in that it measures balance; coordination; and ability to understand and perform as instructed.

Administration of One-Leg Stand Roadside SFST

In the One-Leg Stand Test the suspect is instructed to:

  1. Stand with one foot approximately six inches from the ground;
  2. With one foot off the ground the suspect is required to count aloud verbally by Thousands. For example, one thousand-one, one thousand-two, etc.
  3. The suspect must do this for 30 seconds while the police times them;
  4. After 30 seconds, the suspect is instructed to put their foot back down to the ground.

During the entire exercise, the officer will be observing and looking for signs that are consistent with DUI or DWI impairment.

What police are looking for in the One-Leg Stand Test

The specific “cues” or indicators police officer is looking for in DUI or DWI impairment are:

  • Swaying while balancing;
  • Suspect must use their arms to balance;
  • Suspect must hop around to maintain their balance;
  • Suspect puts their foot down before the 30 seconds is finished;
  • Suspect is unable to perform the task for any length of time

NHTSA research studies suggest that 83% of Suspected DUI drivers who exhibit two or more of these indicators will have a BAC of 0.08 of greater. Further, NHTSA research studies suggest that the probability that the suspect cannot perform the task for any length of time has a BAC of .10% or higher in 65% of alcohol impaired DUI suspects.

DUI Defenses for Walk and Turn Tests

Examples of defenses for the Walk and Turn Test include but are not limited to:

  1. Suspect was 50 pounds overweight;
  2. Suspect was 65 years of age or older;
  3. Suspect had a medical condition impairing their balance, coordination or legs;
  4. Suspect was wearing high heels, boots, or apparel that was constricting or impaired their ability to successfully preform the task;
  5. Suspect was not wearing shoes and pavement was hot;
  6. Suspect’s fitness level was naturally lower than average in absence;
  7. Suspect did not understand the instructions;
  8. Suspect and Police had a language barrier;
  9. Landscape or Terrain was uneven and not smooth; muddy; rocky; icy, snowing;
  10. Heavy Traffic was distracting; or too loud for suspect to understand instructions;
  11. Police officer intimidated the suspect causing them to be nervous;
  12. Suspect naturally possessed a high anxiety levels due to mental condition or simply due to the DUI stop, investigation and ordeal.

DUI Lawyer Mesa Arizona

A field sobriety test in Arizona is not mandatory. The fact is that many roadside tests such as the walk-and-turn test results are often inaccurate as a cue for driving impairment due to alcohol or drugs.

The walk-and-turn test can be difficult for people who are not impaired. Even unimpaired drivers can fail them in the judgement of the police officer.

If you participated in a walk-and-turn test as part of a field sobriety test, and if you were subsequently arrested for DUI, you should consult an experienced DUI defense attorney.

James Novak of the Law Office of James Novak, offers a free initial consultation, for active charges. He defends all types of impaired driving charges in Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Tempe AZ.

Call James Novak today at (480) 413-1499 for your free consultation.