Under certain circumstances, horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) sobriety tests
can be considered "inadmissible" in court. According to the
NHTSA, HNG testing can allow prosecutors to establish scientific evidence
against a DUI suspect in court. However, HGN testing isn't always
accurate. In fact, combined sobriety testing methods produce accurate
results only 91% of the time. This means that 9% of sobriety test arrests
may be the result of imprecise test results.
HGN testing must be performed by a qualified law enforcement officer. During the test, the officer holds a small flashlight, pen, or other
object in front of the subject's eyes and slowly moves it back and
forth. As he/she moves the object from side to side, the law enforcement
officer watches for signs of intoxication. Generally speaking, nystagmus
only occurs while the eyeball is rotated to the side, but an elevated
BAC can result in involuntary eye movement at other times.
If the test is not performed by a qualified law enforcement officer, it
may not be allowed as evidence against the DUI suspect in court. Additionally,
the scientific validity of the test can be brought into question. While most courts consider HGN testing "scientific," others
only accept the test as an observation. If the test was administered by
a law enforcement officer but executed improperly, prosecution may not
be able to hold it as evidence against the suspect.
properly administered test can yield inaccurate results. According to the NHTSA, a variety of other facts can cause nystagmus.
For instance, seizure medication, fatigue, inner ear disturbances, and
pathological disorders can lead to eye tremors. If you were arrested for
DUI because you failed HNG testing, contact an Atlanta DUI lawyer from
the Law Offices of Howard J. Weintraub today. With more than 35 years
of experience, our team has the skill and dedication to fight for the
case results you need.