One Leg Stand

In Oakland County, most officers administer the one leg stand as part of their sobriety test toolkit.  In the one leg stand, the suspect is instructed to stand with one foot approximately six inches off of the ground and count aloud by thousands (one-thousand one, one-thousand two, etc...) until told to put their foot down.  The officer has the suspect count to 30 seconds.  During this time the officer is looking for four factors in determining the pass or failure of the test:

  • swaying while balancing;
  • using arms to balance;
  • hopping to maintain balance;
  • putting foot down.

The one leg stand is difficult to pass, even on level ground in the daytime.  When watching in car videos, officers many times demonstrate to the suspects how to do the tests.  One thing that is noticeable in these videos is that the officer will bend their knee on the leg standing on the ground, which makes the test much easier to perform.  Although officers are taught to do this, we have never seen any officer ever tell a suspect to bend their knee, thus ensuring a failed test.