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One-leg stand field sobriety test inappropriate for drivers over 60

| Apr 22, 2011 | DUI |

A judge has tossed a DUI case against a 59-year-old woman who was being tried for driving under the influence on the basis of one failed field sobriety test — one not even appropriate for her age. According to WTAE, the judge dropped the case against the woman because he said having failed the one-leg stand field sobriety test was an unreliable indicator that she had been intoxicated when involved in a car accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that the one-leg stand field sobriety test not be given to people over the age of 60. According to WTAE, since the woman was nearly 60 and had just been in a traumatizing car accident, having failed the one test was not enough to pursue DUI charges against her.  

The woman was given field sobriety tests after being involved in a car accident in Ohio. The police officer responding to the scene had her perform four field sobriety tests. She passed all the tests except for the test where she was asked to stand on one leg. The NHTSA says that people 60 and older cannot be assumed to be impaired if their balance is not good enough to stand on one leg because certain abilities like that decline as people age.

According to WTAE, a breathalyzer test was given to the woman, but not admitted as evidence in court, which could mean that she passed it, but there was no information available on why it was not admitted to court. A police officer said that he believed the woman’s speech was slightly slurred and her eyes were somewhat glassy, but the judge also did not believe that was enough to pursue the DUI charges against the woman.


Judge Tosses DUI Case Because Woman Too Old For Sobriety Test (WTAE.com)