Question: Can you explain the Maryland one leg stand test?
Answer: In the one leg stand, the deputy officer will ask you to stand on one leg of your choosing and to lift your other leg six to 12 inches off the ground. He will ask you to point your toe and to start counting out loud by one thousands. You have to keep your hands down by your side and you’re not supposed to start too early. So, it’s a Simon Says type of thing and you’re not supposed to sway or fall or put your foot down. So, what he has you doing at the side of the street at 12 o’clock at night, in the wind and the rain and the snow, with him standing there and of his brethren officers running up the street at full speed like you’ve robbed the treasury or something, they’re going to ask you to stand on one leg and to count to 30. And they won’t even tell you to count to 30, they’ll just tell you to start counting until they tell you to stop.
So, if you are good at balancing, perhaps you’ll be able to lift your leg up off the ground, to point your toe forward, to look at your toe and to count to 30. But, this is what the test is. If you put your foot down, they’ll ask you to pick your foot back up and to continue the counting. And he’s looking for you to put your foot down, he’s looking for you, if you’re swaying back and forth or if you start the test too early, these are all clues that he is looking for. They do try to utilize that against you, and in this DUI defense lawyer’s opinion, and in the great majority of defense lawyer’s opinions, all of these field tests should not be engaged in — neither the one-leg stand, or the nine-step walk-and-turn or the HGN; they are all completely ludicrous tests.
If the officer has asked you to get out of your car in order to do these tests and he has smelled alcohol on your breath, you are going to be arrested that night. And you doing these tests is not going to get you out of that, it’s just going to give the police officer evidence to use against you in court. Therefore, one should think about that carefully before one tries to do these tests.