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What is the one-leg stand test?

If you have ever wondered exactly what happens when a law enforcement officer asks a driver to take a field sobriety test in Illinois, you are not alone. Most people know that these tests in some form attempt to evaluate a person's balance or other functions but may not fully understand exactly what these tests can determine and how they must be administered.

According to, one of the tests approved for use by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is called the one-leg stand test. As the name implies a person is asked to stand on one leg but that is not the only instruction that must be followed in order to pass this test. The leg that you must raise should be held a certain height off the ground and is not allowed to be put down even for a brief second until the officer tells you that it is appropriate to do so.

You must also keep your arms and hands firmly by your sides so as not to use them to help you balance in any way. Your eyes must stay focused on the foot that is in the air. Then, you have to count out loud while maintaining perfect balance regardless of the shoes you are wearing, the road surface you are on or any other factor.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give Illinois residents an idea of what they might be asked to do if they are ever stopped by a police officer and asked to take tests to evaluate their sobriety.

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