When you are facing DUI charges, prosecutors will typically try to collect as much evidence as possible since they have the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. One piece of evidence that they may use against you is your performance on field sobriety tests including the DUI one-leg stand test.
If you are asked to perform the DUI one leg stand test and you fail, law enforcement and prosecutors may use this failure as evidence that you were impaired by alcohol or drugs at the time when you were driving. However, the one-leg stand and other field sobriety tests are subjective tests that are notoriously inaccurate. As such, at the Eversole Law Office, our Birmingham DUI defense lawyers have been able to successfully introduce doubt as to the veracity of this and other field sobriety tests in order to help you avoid a guilty verdict. To learn more about how we can help you to fight DUI charges and win, contact our Birmingham DUI lawyers today at (866) 831-5292 to set up a free, confidential consultation.
Alabama DUI and the One-Leg Stand Test
In the state of Alabama, a DUI is defined under code section 32-5A-191 to include driving while having a BAC of .08 or higher, as well as to include driving while intoxicated or impaired by drugs, alcohol or any combination of substances that affected your ability to drive safely. As such, to test for DUI, a number of different field sobriety tests are used in order to assess your blood alcohol content and your level of impairment. One such test is referred to as the "one-leg stand test."
When you are asked to do the one leg stand test, law enforcement will request that you balance on one foot. You typically will need to maintain your balance- without sticking your arms out or hopping up and down or swaying-for 30 seconds in order to successfully pass the test.
Unfortunately, many people who are sober are unable to successfully complete this test. It is natural to extend your arms up and out to your sides in order to get better balance, and in fact for most people this is a reflex when standing on one foot. This natural reflex is one of the signs of intoxication.
People who are clumsy, nervous about law enforcement watching them, or who otherwise suffer from test anxiety may also be unable to complete the one leg stand test. Those with balance problems caused by medical conditions will also find this test impossible.
Because there are so many reasons you might fail a one-leg stand test, it is advisable to decline to take this and other field sobriety tests if law enforcement requests that you do so. Although implied consent rules mean that failure to submit to a chemical test can result in the suspension of your driver's license, there is no requirement that you submit to a one-leg stand test. If you politely and respectfully decline to take this test, this will be one less piece of evidence that law enforcement could potentially use against you to obtain a conviction for DUI.
If you have taken a one-leg stand test already, there are plenty of questions you can raise about this test and plenty of ways to challenge it. You do not need to prove that the test was faulty either. Because the prosecutor has the burden of proving guilt in a DUI case, you can discredit the evidence provided by the test simply by introducing doubt as to its accuracy.
At the Eversole Law Office, we have been able to successfully challenge the DUI one leg stand test and other DUI tests for many clients in order to get charges dropped or to win a not-guilty verdict. The sooner we take a case, the sooner we can begin to work with you to build evidence for a DUI defense and to challenge the DUI tests performed. That's why it's important to contact Steven Eversole as soon as you know you'll face DUI charges in Alabama. You can call us toll-free, fill out our confidential online case evaluation form or visit our office in downtown Birmingham.