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The one-leg stand, your ear infection and an arrest for DUI

Perhaps you have a history of ear infections and were fighting that condition again the night law enforcement stopped you on suspicion of DUI.

Unfortunately, you failed the one-leg stand during a field sobriety test. This is a serious matter that could affect your future. What happens now?

About the field sobriety test

The Standardized Field Sobriety Test is the official name for a group of three tests for anyone suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. They consist of the one-leg stand test, the walk-and-turn test and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Of these, even drivers who are completely sober may have trouble with the one-leg stand.

For this test, you must stand with your feet together, arms at your sides. You must then raise one foot six inches off the ground, look at your foot and count out loud from 1001 until the officer says you can stop.

Common issues

Law enforcement officers often administer field sobriety tests at night under conditions that are not ideal. The ground may be uneven, there may be distracting noise from nearby traffic, and you will probably take field sobriety testing under the glare of lights from the police vehicle. Added to your nervousness is the ear infection, which may affect your sense of balance.

People stopped on suspicion of DUI may have other issues that could affect their ability to pass the one-leg stand: eye muscle imbalance, arthritis, herniated disk, sciatica, spinal problems, medications, weight and even foot length.

The road ahead

Your defense should include a thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding your arrest, how the officer administered the field sobriety tests and why you failed the one-leg stand. Did law enforcement have probable cause to stop you? Were the signs of intoxication sufficient to warrant field sobriety testing? Did the officer administer the test properly?

These questions and more must have answers. Your future is at stake and you want the best outcome possible for your case.

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