THE HGN TEST – ENTIRELY UNRELIABLE?

Posted on: September 23, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI defense attorneyIf the police stop you in Orange County because they suspect that you’re driving under the influence, they may ask you to take one or more field sobriety tests (FSTs). Field sobriety tests are supposed to determine if you are too impaired to drive, but there’s substantial ongoing disagreement over the accuracy and usefulness of FSTs. If you are arrested for driving under the influence because you failed a field sobriety test, put your case at once in the hands of an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.

California police departments employ FSTs developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Southern California Research Institute. However, if it’s not rightly conducted, a field sobriety test can be difficult for even a healthy, sober driver to pass. The test that seems to be popular with police officers is called the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test. Because alcohol disrupts the brain’s ability to control eye muscles, a jerking or bouncing of the eye – a movement called the nystagmus – becomes more apparent. An HGN test consists of a police officer asking you to watch the movement of a small object. As you’re looking, the officer looks at you to detect eye movement. Frankly, the entire procedure is suspect, and in the estimate of many, entirely unreliable. Failing the HGN test doesn’t even mean that you’re intoxicated – many who fail the test are using prescription medications or suffering from a neurological or visual impairment.

If you are arrested for DUI in Orange County on the basis of an HGN test, let an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer go to work for you. A good DUI lawyer can safeguard your rights, dispute the results of field sobriety tests, and fight diligently on your behalf for the justice you deserve. Arrange immediately to speak with an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney if you are charged with DUI under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b) – now or in the future – anywhere in southern California.

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