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What is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test?

If you are pulled over and suspected of drunk driving, one of the first tests you will be given is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test. This test looks for involuntary eye movement that is often associated with intoxication (it generally occurs when a person is over .10 BAC). If you fail this test, the officer will almost certainly conduct further testing to determine your blood-alcohol level and determine if you are intoxicated behind the wheel. A Portland DUII lawyer can examine the facts of your arrest and work to achieve the best results possible for your case.

In Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test , the officer will hold out his or her flashlight or a pen and ask the driver to stare it. They will then move the pen in an arc and hold it at the edge of a person’s line of vision. They will then repeat with the other eye. The officer is looking for “fluttering” when the eye is looking at the edge of its range of vision. Because this is involuntary and can’t be prevented when a person is intoxicated, it is very popular as a preliminary test.

The issue with this test is that it is not always or only caused by alcohol intoxication. There are medical issues or types of medication that may contribute to this fluttering even if a person hasn’t had a drop to drink. Failing this test is absolutely not definitive proof that a person was under the influence of any intoxicating agents behind the wheel. A DUII lawyer can work to build reasonable doubt about your guilt.

At Kroll & Johnson, we know how difficult it can be to be charged with drunk driving in Oregon. The penalties it brings, not to mention the impact it can have on your good-name, can be life-changing. We will do everything we can to achieve the best possible results for your particular charges. For a free consultation to discuss your drunk driving arrest, contact Kroll & Johnson today.

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