Texas DWI One Leg Stand Field Sobriety Test

In our last blog entry, we discussed weaknesses a San Antonio DWI lawyer could utilize when defending against the Walk and Turn . Today, we will discuss the final Field Sobriety test – the one-leg stand (OLS).

During this test, the driver stands with his feet together and arms at his sides. The police officer relays the instructions which involve lifting one leg six (6) inches off the ground while counting out loud. Under NHTSA regulations , the officer must time the event for thirty (30) seconds, but the officer does not tell the driver the length of the test. The driver is intoxicated if he cannot perform the test for the thirty (30) seconds.


Interim signs of impairment during the test include swaying, using the arms to balance, hopping, and putting the foot down. A New Braunfels TX DWI lawyer can argue against a video that shows the client hopping or putting his foot on the ground. Perhaps the ground was uneven and a client who catches himself rather than falls is not really impaired. Wind is also a factor that can cause a person to lose balance and the video will often reflect the weather conditions.

A San Marcos DWI lawyer may also obtain medical records reflecting the driver suffered from back or knee problems or a neurological deficit – medical issues play an important role in performance on field sobriety tests. Many times, a criminal defense attorney may ask the officer to perform the field sobriety test, but this technique can backfire if the arresting officer performs the tests correctly. In cases where the officer performed the test correctly, a strong argument is that the officer may have performed the tests numerous times before, and the driver had to perform these tests for the first time.

Contact Information