Wisconsin DUI Attorney Nathan J. Dineen Discusses the One Leg Stand Test

This blog is the third of three that specifically discusses Wisconsin Drunk Driving Sobriety Tests commonly administered by police officers during an OWI investigation. As indicated in the prior two blogs, there are three standardized field sobriety tests. These tests are: the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (HGN) or Eye Test, the Walk and Turn Test (WAT), and the One Leg Stand Test (OLS).  When a police officer stops you and believes you are intoxicated, they may use these tests to determine how intoxicated you are and if you are too intoxicated to drive a vehicle. This blog will solely cover the One Leg Stand Test.

The One Leg Stand Test is typically the final standardized field sobriety test that an officer will administer to something they suspect of being under the influence of alcohol. I say typically because there are a variety of other exercises that an officer may have you perform, such as saying the ABC’s or touching your finger to your nose. Other tests similar to these which are not standardized have little bearing and an experienced Wisconsin DUI Attorney will know how to combat them.

Similar to the Walk and Turn Test, the One Leg Stand Test has two phases: the Instructional Phase and the Performance Phase. During the Instructional Phase, the officer is going to instruct you to put your feet together and your arms at your sides. When the officer instructs you to do so, he will request that the subject raise one foot six inches off the ground while keeping the raised foot parallel to the ground, i.e. keep your toes pointing forward, not up. The officer will then expect you to count from 1-30, one-thousand-one, etc, etc. While the subject is performing this test, the officer is looking for four possible clues or indicators of impairment. The four possible clues are: Swaying While Balancing, Using arms for Balance (more than six inches from your side), Hopping, and Putting Your Foot Down.  If an officer observes two or more (2/4) of these clues the subject is deemed to have failed the OLS test.

Similar to the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus and Walk and Turn Test, the One Leg Stand Test must be administered in a standardized way so the observations may be considered reliable indicators of impairment.

Do officers usually administer these tests correctly? No.

Who cares if they are performed correctly? If you have been charged with drunk driving you better. An experienced Wisconsin DUI Attorney will.  A driver’s performance of field sobriety tests is going to be a big part of any case against you. You must have an attorney that understands standardized field sobriety testing, how they are administered and how they are evaluated. I am certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Test Administration.  I observe and evaluate field sobriety test administration everyday. If you are serious about fighting your Wisconsin DUI charge, you need knowledge and experience on your side. You need an attorney that focuses specifically on Wisconsin DUI/OWI Defense.

If you have been charged with drunk driving in eastern Wisconsin, you need someone who understands what is going on from start to finish, someone who will fight for you every step of the way. I offer a free initial consultation where we will sit down and discuss you case in detail. Call Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C. at 1-877-384-6800.