13May 2020

A Case For Rendering The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test Inadmissible

A lawyer in Fairfax County, Virginia is arguing that the Horizontal Gaze 
Nystagmus test should be made inadmissible in a DUI trial. The 
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test is one of three standard field 
sobriety tests used by officers to determine an individual's level of 
intoxication. An individual fails the test if their eyes "wobble" too 
much when following an officer's finger.

The lawyer states that this test is no more useful than simply detecting 
a strong odor of alcohol on a suspect's breath. Also, other medical 
conditions and/or medications can cause an individual's eyes to "wobble" 
if they try to follow a finger or other object as it moves. The lawyer 
also noted that officers are not trained medical professionals and they 
are not qualified to interpret the results of a medical test.

Perhaps the most persuasive argument the attorney made was that in cases 
of DUI which result in a conviction, the evidence is usually so 
overwhelming that the HGN test is irrelevant anyway. Remember to never 
drink and drive or operate a vehicle under the influence of any 
substance. If you live in Burlington, Essex, Colchester, Winooski, 
Williston, Shelburne or anywhere in the state of Vermont, and have been 
arrested or charged with DUI or any crime, call Handy Law for aggressive 
and experienced legal defense.