HGN EYE TEST
The NHTSA training manual states that the eye examinations that you can conduct to assess possible drug or medical impairment include:
- Resting nystagmus
- Tracking ability
- Pupil size
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN)
- Vertical gaze nystagmus (VGN)
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Resting Nystagmus is referred to as jerking as the eyes look straight ahead. This condition is not frequently seen. Its presence usually indicates a pathological disorder or high doses of a Dissociative Anesthetic drug such as PCP.
Tracking Ability will be affected by certain categories of drugs, and also by certain medical conditions or pathological disorders.
If the two eyes do not track together, the possibility of a medical condition or injury is present.
By passing a stimulus across both eyes, you can check to see if both eyes are tracking equally.
The ability of your eyes to track an object can be affected by certain categories of drugs, and also by certain medical conditions or pathological disorders. Officers are trained that if the two eyes do not track together, the possibility of a medical condition or injury is present. By passing a stimulus across both eyes, the office can check to see if both eyes are tracking equally. If they don’t (i.e., if one eye tracks the stimulus, but the other fails to move, or lags behind the stimulus) there is the possibility of a pathological disorder. If a person has sight in both eyes, but the eyes fail to track together, there is a possibility that the person is suffering from an injury or illness.
HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS
The NHTSA claims that Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) is the most reliable field sobriety test. Especially when used in combination with the divided attention tests, it will help law enforcement officers correctly identify subjects who are impaired. The officer is looking for involuntary jerking of the eyes occurring as the eyes gaze to the side. It is normally the first test administered in the SFST battery.
Involuntary jerking of the eyes becomes readily noticeable when a person is impaired. As a person's blood alcohol concentration increases, the eyes will begin to jerk sooner as they move to the side.
In administering the HGN test, the officer has the subject follow the motion of a small stimulus with the eyes only. The stimulus may be the tip of a pen or penlight, or an eraser on a pencil, whichever contrasts with the background.
When the HGN test is administered always begin with subject's left eye. Each eye is examined for three specific clues.
- As the eye moves from side to side, does it move smoothly or does it jerk noticeably? (As people become impaired by alcohol, their eyes exhibit a lack of smooth pursuit as they move from side to side.)
- When the eye moves as far to the side as possible and is kept at that position for four seconds, does it jerk distinctly? (Distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation is another clue of impairment.)
- As the eye moves toward the side, does it start to jerk prior to a 45 degree angle? (Onset of nystagmus prior to 45 degrees is another clue of impairment.)
As a person's blood alcohol concentration increases it is more likely these clues will appear. The maximum total number of clues is six. The maximum number of clues that may appear in one eye is three.
If the eyes track equally, but “jerk” while they are moving, then the possible presence of three categories of drugs should be noted:
- Central Nervous System Depressants;
- Dissociative Anesthetics; and,
There are a number of reasons that nystagmus might occur other than alcohol or drug impairment. Fatigue and medications treating seizures, barbiturates, and depressants can lead to nystagmus. If you failed your HGN “test” it may be important to hire a neurologist to testify that alcohol consumption was not responsible for the nystagmus.
The lawyers of Emerson Divorce and Accident Injury Attorneys, L.L.C. have over 20 years of combined experience and are prepared to assist you in your DUI defense. Our attorneys offer criminal defense for all felony DUI and misdemeanor DUI charges.
We accept cases from Carmel City Court, Hamilton County Court, Boone County, Marion County, Hendricks County and throughout Indiana.
Our law office is centrally located and easily accessible from Interstate 465.
LEARN MORE ABOUT INDIANA DRUNK DRIVING LAWS
- Right to Remain Silent
- Incriminating Statements
- DUI Evidence
- DUI Blood Alcohol Content
- DUI Breath Tests
- Field Sobriety Tests In Indiana
- DUI and Traffic Violations
INDIANA DUI LEGAL FAQ'S
- What Is a DUI a felony?
- Will I have to serve jail time for my DUI / DWI?
- How long will a DUI / DWI stay on my record, counting as a prior offense?
- If I'm pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving, when must the police officer give me a breathalyzer or blood test?
- Can I get out of my DUI / DWI by plea bargaining for a wet reckless?
- After my DUI / DWI conviction, will I be required to install an IID?
- Will I lose my license for a DUI?
RESOURCES FOR THOSE CHARGED WITH DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
- NHTSA Impaired Driving
- Judge Resigns After DUI
- Woman charged with DUI in crash
- Dak Prescott DUI Arrest
- Drunk Driving Laws Don't Match Research
- Supreme Court decision will not impact Indiana DUI tests
JR Emerson is a Carmel, Indiana DUI attorney representing individuals charged with dui, driving under the influence, OVWI, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, OWI, operating while intoxicated. Our DUI lawyers represent men and women in Hamilton County, and throughout Indiana. Cities in which we practice include: Carmel, Noblesville, Fishers, Zionsville, Lebanon, Whitestown, West Clay, Lawrence, Beech Grove, Speedway, Greenwood, Southport, Franklin, Plainfield, Avon and Danville, Indiana.
How an Attorney Can Help
The State must prove it's case beyond a reasonable doubt. Your attorney's job is to challenge the State's evidence. Learn how an attorney can help with the use of Subpoena's and Depositions.
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- JR Emerson, Attorney
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- Jill Bracken-Emerson, Attorney
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JR Emerson is an attorney who represents men and women in family law matters including divorce, child custody modification, and child support modification in Marion County, Hendricks County, Boone County, Hamilton County, Hancock County, Madison County, Johnson County. Cities in which he practices include: Zionsville, Lebanon, Whitestown, Carmel, West Clay, Westfield, Noblesville, Fishers, Lawrence, Beech Grove, Speedway, Greenwood, Southport, Franklin, Plainfield, Avon and Danville, Indiana.