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What is the one-leg stand test?

Have you ever heard people talk about field sobriety tests in Tennessee and wondered what these really are? When an officer is looking to collect probable cause with which to place a person under arrest for drunk driving, these tests may be administered. There are three types of tests that FieldSobrietyTests.org explain are standardized and approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

One of the three tests is the one-leg stand test. It’s overall rate of accuracy is 65 percent. When giving this test, officers are specifically looking for how well you can balance as well as how well you can execute very specific and multiple instructions at once. Many things such as your physical health and even the shoes you are wearing may contribute to your ability to successfully perform this test. It may also be reasonable to assume that if you are very nervous or scared at this time, it may be harder for you to balance well.

When taking this test, you must keep one foot off the ground about six inches and intently stare at that foot. Your arms must stay firmly by your sides while you count as instructed by an officer. If you sway, move your arms so as to aid with balance, put your foot down or fail to count exactly as requested, you may be said to fail the test.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give Tennessee residents an overview of the one-leg stand field sobriety test often used by law enforcement during a drunk driving arrest.

State Bar of Georgia
TBA | Tennessee Bar Association
CBA | Chattanooga Bar Association
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