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Litigation Blog.
The seasoned lawyers and litigators at The Rubinstein Law Firm are here to share their insights with you.

The problem with the one-leg stand test and OWI

Like many other states, Michigan police will more than likely use the one-leg stand test as a measurement of impairment.

The problem is it does not always identify drivers who may be intoxicated. Even so, this test has led to many OWI arrests here and across the country.

Factors that affect results

A number of factors can affect an individual’s ability to pass the one-leg stand test. For instance, age, height, weight and other physical factors may affect it. Many people also have balance problems or could experience them due to a medical condition.

Something as simple as an ear infection could compromise a person’s ability to balance on leg for a few seconds, let alone the approximately 30 seconds that most tests last.

If a driver suffers from a back, leg or foot injury, it could cause a driver to fail the test. These examples only represent the personal factors that could affect the test. The environment in which the test occurs, along with the subjective opinion of the officer could also mean a person will end up arrested for drunk driving.

Is the test required?

The good news is people are not legally required to participate in this or other field sobriety tests. However, calmly and politely refusing to cooperate with the officer does not mean that the officer will not arrest the driver on suspicion of OWI.

In that instance, it would be wise to consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible in order to explore all of the options that may lead to the best outcome possible if charges are filed.