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One Leg Stand

If you were arrested with a DUI in Ohio, it is likely that the officer had you perform the One Leg Stand (OLS) portion of the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST). Columbus DUI attorneyPeter Binning has been trained on the OLS and other portions of the SFST and wants you to understand how the police administer this test, how it is scored, and how he can defend you against the results.

During the OLS test, the officer asks that you count out loud while holding one foot about six inches from the ground. The test is based on the idea that intoxication makes it difficult to focus on mental and physical tasks simultaneously, but the OLS test is actually the least reliable of the three. While you are performing the test, the officer is looking out for different actions that, he believes, prove that you are intoxicated:

1. Swaying while balancing
2. Using arms to balance
3. Hopping
4. Putting foot down

When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration first developed the SFST, they claimed that the presence of these actions had a 65% reliability rating and determining whether an individual was intoxicated; but today, they tout an 85% accuracy rate.

There are many reasons why the OLS test should not be used as a sobriety test, but the main reason is that it is a set of abnormal actions that are being used to test your normal mental and physical functioning. Most citizens are not in the habit of lifting one foot off the ground while counting; anyone who does this in public is likely to be reported to the police.

In order to perform the OLS test properly, one needs a high level of balance, which automatically excludes certain members of the population. Those with head trauma, spinal injuries, chronic pain, vertigo, etc. often have a difficult time with normal motor function, not to mention the awkward pose required by the OLS test. Distractions from the road or the officer, weather conditions, or stress at being pulled over can also contribute to anyone’s poor performance on the sobriety tests.

One of the best-kept secrets of the OLS test is that the police have been given helpful performance “tips” on how to pass this test, such things as keeping your knees bent, or squeezing together your buttocks to improve their balance. But they will not pass this information on to you, so you will not pass the test.

Columbus DUI attorney Peter Binning understands the difficulties in performing a test that seems designed for your failure. He has taken numerous seminars in DUI defense, including education on the SFST and how to defend you against harmful SFST results. Call today for your free consultation.

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