One-Leg Stand Field Sobriety Test

Question: What are some possible defenses for a failed one-leg stand field sobriety test in Alabama?

Answer: The one-leg stand is a standardized field sobriety test promulgated by NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The standardization and validation required for the test to be accurate be instructed and be evaluated in a particular manner. There are only four clues that the training says the officer can use against someone: the person swaying while balancing; using their arms for balance; hopping; placing the foot down before the count of 30. One clue may only be counted once, and a count of 30 seconds is the standard the person is trying to achieve. Standardization says that two clues or more creates the probability the person’s blood alcohol level being .08 or greater. Even when this test is given correctly, the standardization says that it’s only 65% reliable. The way that the test is instructed, the way that it’s interpreted, the location and condition of where the test is administered, and the physical condition of the client could all be fertile ground to defend the case and try to suppress the result of this test.