The Horizontal Nystagmus Test (HGN) is a standard field sobriety test that police administer when they suspect someone is driving under the influence. An officer will direct a driver to follow a stimulus, such as a finger, a pen or light, with his or her eyes from the far left to far right. Jerky eye movements can raise a red flag as horizontal gaze nystagmus may indicate alcohol or drug use is interfering with the brains ability to control the eye muscles making driving potentially hazardous to the driver and other motorists.
Although studies reveal that HGN tests are largely reliable, they are not foolproof. There are many factors that can increase the rate of nystagmus that have nothing to do with intoxication. For example, the test can easily give a false positive when someone is looking into bright or flashing lights of a police car. Other times it could be a medical condition that can cause nystagmus, not a case of OWI. There is always the possibility of operator error, and not surprisingly, law enforcement officers are notorious for administering the test incorrectly which can lead to innocent drivers being arrested.
With the help of an experienced Wisconsin HGN Field Sobriety Test attorney, your case may result in an outright dismissal, or a reduction in charges, if the procedures or evidence used to charge you are flawed or insufficient. Any reduction in the charges can mitigate the consequences you will face, including your driving privileges. No matter where you have been charged with drunk driving anywhere in southeastern Wisconsin, Contact our office in Waukesha as soon as possible. We are ready to help you start fighting to protect your future. Attorney Andrew C. Ladd has 30 years of OWI experience aggressively protecting his client’s legal rights and pursuing the best possible outcomes.