What Are Illinois DUI Tests Such as the One Leg Stand?
The One Leg Stand (OLS) test is a standardized field sobriety test that is administered to detect impairment when a police officer suspects a driver of DUI. The test comes out of studies under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There are four possible clues the officer will look for: did the suspect (1) sway, (2) put his foot down, (3) use his arms to balance, and/or (4) hop. Any one of these clues, when combined with the Walk and Turn test, indicates impairment.
OLS is another "divided attention" test. These tests are used to see if you can do two things at once. For example, are you able to keep your balance while listening to instructions? Are you able to remember instructions after concentrating on your balance? Studies have shown people have a hard time doing two things at the same time while under the influence.
The test itself appears simple. You are basically lifting your leg for 30 seconds. But do not be fooled; the test is designed to make you look bad.
First, the officer must determine whether you have medical issues that would prevent you from doing the test. Then, the officer must look for any debris and make sure you are on a flat surface.
The officer will then have you stand in a position with your feet together and your arms at your side. At this point, you are focusing on your balance while the officer gives you the instructions. He will also demonstrate how you are supposed to stand--again, forcing you to do two things at once--asking you to balance and watch his instructions.
After that, the officer will instruct you as follows: "When I tell you, raise one leg about six inches off the ground and hold that position. At the same time, count rapidly from 1,001 to 1,030 while watching your foot." He will demonstrate this as well.
The officer is required to ensure you understand his instructions. Then, he will tell you to start. While you are counting 1,001, 1,002, etc., the officer is counting as well. The officer is also counting to himself. At 30 seconds, he will tell you to stop.
It is important to remember that this test is not 100% accurate. Even if completed under ideal conditions, the OLS test is only about 65% accurate. This means that even if you do the test completely accurately, there is still a 35% chance you are impaired. It also means that 1/3 of those who take the test and fail are sober.
Attacking the OLS test is just one step in fighting a DUI case. A competent and knowledgeable DuPage County DUI attorney will know how to challenge this evidence in court. Most officers administer the test incorrectly, making the results unreliable in court. Call Ramsell and Associates now at 630-665-8780 for a free consultation of your case where we can discuss the test and how it applies to your case.