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One Leg Stand Sobriety Test

The One Leg Stand Field Sobriety Test is one of the three tests of the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) in the USA. Participants are required to stand on one foot for 30 seconds while counting up from 1001. This test is not part of the usual tests of fitness for athletes, but is similar to the stork balance test and may be a useful alternative.

These sobriety tests, which were developed in the 1970s, are performed during a traffic stop in order to determine if a driver is impaired. As well as the One Leg Stand test, the other tests that make up the SFST are the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) and the Walk and Turn tests.

purpose: To assess balance

equipment required: none

procedure: the subject is asked to stand with their feet together and their arms at their side. When instructed, they are to lift one foot (either one) about six inches off the ground and count by one from 1,001 (one-thousand-one, one thousand-two, etc.) until the officer says to put the foot down. The test lasts for 30 seconds.

Scoring: The examiner looks for these eight indicators of impairment:

  1. Swaying while balancing
  2. Using arms to balance
  3. Hopping to maintain balance
  4. Putting the foot down

The Test in Action

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