One-Leg Stand Test in Kansas and Missouri
The One-Leg Stand test is used to help evaluate a driver's level of intoxication. It is used in both Kansas and Missouri, as well as other states throughout the country. It is one of the three standardized field sobriety tests that have been certified by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). The other certified tests are HGN and the Walk and Turn.
One-Leg Stand Procedure in Kansas and Missouri
Once a law enforcement officer has decided to test a driver using the One-Leg Stand, he will direct the driver to step out of the vehicle and stand with one foot approximately six inches off the ground, with his toe pointed.
The driver is expected to keep perfect balance and count out loud for thirty seconds. The counting should begin with one thousand-one, one thousand-two, and so on. During the test, the driver's arms must stay down and he should be looking down at his foot.
While this test sounds simple, the officer must confirm that the driver understands what is required of him before beginning the test. According to the standards and guidelines set forth by the NHTSA, the officer is expected to explain the test to the driver as well as demonstrate the test prior to the driver starting the test.
Intoxication Clues Observed by Kansas & Missouri Officers
There are a variety of clues the officer will be looking for while the driver is completing the One-Leg Stand test. These clues allegedly indicate to the officer that the driver is operating the vehicle while impaired. Generally, if the officer observes two or more clues, the driver will be arrested for DUI/DWI.
A Kansas or Missouri law enforcement officer will be looking for the following indicators:
- The driver putting his foot down before the test has been completed: If the driver needs to put his raised foot down three or more times before completing the test, the driver will be penalized.
- The driver swaying while trying to keep his balance: Officers should be aware that it is normal for a person to show a small amount of swaying. However, law enforcement is trained to notice marked swaying.
- The driver hopping while trying to keep his balance: The driver will not be penalized for slightly moving back and forth. However, raising the foot of the ground is not permitted.
- The driver using his arms to keep his balance: Here, the officer should notice if the driver raises his arms more than six inches from the side of his body. If this occurs, it is noted by the officer that the driver is having difficulty maintaining balance.
Should You Get an Attorney?
Officers in both Kansas and Missouri should be trained on the proper way to administer the One-Leg Stand test. However, the guidelines are not always followed. There are many variables that may cause a driver to perform poorly or otherwise fail this evaluation. Not all drivers who fail this test are guilty of DUI/DWI!
Mr. McLane has worked with clients in both Kansas and Missouri and understands the laws in both states. It is in your best interest to work with a seasoned, local defense attorney who can help you through the legal process and represent you in the best way possible.