Client was stopped by a DUI task force officer for riding on, or crossing over the fog line five times within a mile. Additionally, the officer observed that our client emitted a strong odor of alcohol, had bloodshot and glassy eyes, stumbled on his words as he spoke, swayed from side to side, and met all six clues on the HGN (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus) exercise. The officer had to instruct our client a few times to not move his head, and on the heel-to-toe exercise he lost his balance and fell off of the line.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Sobriety Test
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus is a field sobriety test that police officers use to gauge if a person is under the influence of alcohol. In this test, the suspect will need to follow an object with his or her eyes while the police officer checks for the involuntary jerking of the eye.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has stated that this test is 77% accurate in determining if a person has a blood alcohol content over .10%.
Police officers will read instructions that are similar to this for the HGN test:
- I am going to check your eyes. (If you wear glasses or contacts, you will be instructed to take them off. This test does not need you to see in order for it to be performed.)
- Keep your head still and follow the stimulus with your eyes only.
- Do not move your head.
- Do you understand the instructions?
- Lack of smooth pursuit
- Distinct nystagmus and maximum deviation
- Angle of onset prior to 45 degrees
There are 6 clues that law enforcement officers are looking for, 3 of which are for each eyes. The clues that this test looks at includes the following:
The stimulus should be positioned 12 to 15 inches from the eyes. The eyes of the officer performing the test should be above your eye level otherwise the test could be tainted.
Flashing lights can also taint the results of the test. This could instigate the onset of nystagmus.
The HGN test also requires a police officer to have a steady hand when performing the test. The movements should be even in a side to side manner. If jerky movements are used, the test results could show intoxication.
Fight For Your Rights With Musca Law Firm
At Musca Law Firm, we know how bad a DUI charge can be. We understand that everyone makes mistakes and deserves a second chance. This is why our lawyers will take the time to develop a strong and strategic defense for your case. We will listen to your side of the story and investigate the whole case. It is not uncommon for us to enter into heated arguments with the prosecution in order to obtain the results that you desire.
We offer a free initial consultation and our phone lines are answered 24/7. Please call us today at (888) 484-5057 to schedule your consultation.
RESULTS: After entering negotiations with the prosecution, the DUI charges were dropped!