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What Happens In The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Or HGN Test?

The horizontal gaze nystagmus test tests the involuntary jerking of the eyes as the eyes gaze toward the side. Gaze tests, when administered correctly should take 30-90 seconds. Yet, officers usually do these tests in about 10-30 seconds. Also, quite often, officers give these tests to people who clearly have eye conditions that should exempt them from performing the tests. During these gaze tests, officers will put their finger or device in front of your face, 12 to 15 inches from your eyes. They will go back and forth and side to side with this device, and you are supposed to keep your head still and follow it with your eyes. After looking for some type of irregularity with your eyes, they will look to see if your eyes are smoothly pursuing the object that you are following, and they will look for any jerking or bounciness. Then, they will look for what is called distinct nystagmus and maximum deviation. Most officers will claim that they see it, and it is nearly impossible to prove or disprove.

What Happens In The One Leg Stand Test?

The One Leg Stand test is where someone picks a foot to stand on. There is an instructional phase, and then you will choose a foot, hold that foot six inches off the ground with your foot parallel to the ground, and count while you are looking at your foot for 30 seconds. The officer is looking to see if there is sway, if you put your foot down, if you hop, and if you count properly. If they see two clues that suggest that you are not in compliance with the standardized test, this will often lead to an arrest.

There is no reason to do these tests other than to give these officers more evidence about your potential impairment. Other than those who are on probation for a previous DUI, these tests are not legally required and DUI attorneys do not recommend that you comply with them.

For more information on Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

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Aaron Bortel
With 30 years of specialized experience in DUI defense, Attorney Aaron Bortel is a dedicated advocate for those facing DUI charges in the Bay Area. Committed to helping clients avoid jail, save their driver’s licenses and jobs, and prevent permanent criminal records, he combines deep legal expertise with genuine care for his client's welfare. Trust in a lawyer who not only defends but truly supports you through challenging times.

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