What is the one-leg stand test in West Virginia?

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2022 | Dui |

Some West Virginia residents might have heard of the one-leg stand test. But they may not have gone through it or when it’s used.

In short, the one-leg stand test is one of several field sobriety tests that a cop will administer when pulling someone over for suspected drunk driving. It may or may not be used in conjunction with other tests, and there’s some debate over whether it’s effective.

What’s the one-leg stand test procedure?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has guidelines as to how field sobriety tests should be conducted. Therefore, officers have to instruct the diver as to what to do and then watch as the driver performs.

The officer must provide verbal instructions as well as a demonstration to the driver when in the first stage of the test. They are also required to ask if the driver understands.

The driver will then follow the officer’s instructions, raising one leg. Your foot should be parallel and around six inches off the ground. The driver must hold their hands to the side and keep their leg up until the officer tells them to stop.

What are the officers looking for with this test?

This test is done to determine if a driver is, essentially drunk and can be charged with Driving Under the Influence. While the driver is standing on one leg, the officer is typically looking to see if the driver:

  • Swaying
  • Using arms for balance
  • Hopping
  • Putting your foot down

The driver fails the test if they do two or more of the above during the test. From there, the officer can then serve them with a DUI charge.

How does it hold up in court?

The one-leg stand test is only accurate 65 percent of the time. In addition, things like age and overall coordination of the individual can impact the results. If someone believes that they were unfairly charged on the basis of the one-leg stand test, they should consider contesting the charge.

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