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What is the one-legged stand test?

Have you ever heard people talk about field sobriety tests and wondered exactly what those things were? Well, you are not alone. Knowing what these tests are and what they are used to determine or allow is important for anyone who drives in Rhode Island.

According to, the tests administered at the location of a suspected drunk driving traffic stop are not at all designed to confirm or quantify a driver's intoxication. Instead, the three tests are together intended to provide a law enforcement official with enough evidence to warrant placing a person under arrest. It is akin to probable cause if you will. One of the three tests used is referred to as the one-leg stand test for obvious reasons.

When standing on one leg, you must execute a other actions as instructed without using your arms to balance or putting a foot down at all. Generally this involves counting exactly as told. Poeple who have knee problems or other medical issues impacting their balance or joints may have challenges with this test. It is said to be 65-percent accurate in determining impairment. Also a potential factor is the fact that you will most likely be very scared when taking these tests which could make balancing a challenge. Road conditions and the shoes you wear may also be factors.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give Rhode Island drivers an idea of the types of tests they may be asked to take if suspected of driving while impaired.

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