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HGN, DUI, DuPage County Criminal Defense AttorneyThe "eye test" is a common field sobriety test that is conducted by law enforcement during DUI stops in Illinois. The official name of the test is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN). If the officer has any suspicion that you may have been drinking, he will usually conduct an HGN test. However, the test has many different steps and specific procedures. If the test is not performed exactly as standardized, or if  the officer combines steps, omit portions of the exam or perform the test too quickly, the results may be invalid.

There are several different versions of the HGN test. These include observing your eye movement patterns with use of a stimulus held about twelve inches from your face and moving the stimulus:

  • From side to side;
  • Up and down;
  • Around the eyes; and
  • Toward the eyes.

Typically, you will be instructed to stand with both feet together and your hands at your sides. The test should begin with the officer checking the eyes for equal pupil size and equal tracking. This step can reveal medical conditions that cause Nystagmus, which is defined as rapid involuntary movements of the eyes. However, many officers skip this critical first step, thereby invalidating the results before the test has even begun.

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DUI, DUI stop, rights, Illinois DUI Defense AttorneyA criminal defense attorney recently garnered national attention from a viral video of him successfully passing through a DUI checkpoint without saying a word.

Florida lawyer Warren Redlich claims that all any driver is legally required to do at a DUI checkpoint is to show the officer a sign that says, "I remain silent. No searches. I want my lawyer." Drivers are also required to show their driver’s license and insurance information. This may all be done from the driver’s side of a rolled up car window.

What Works In Florida May Not In Illinois

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Arlington Heights DUI defense attorney, DUI arrest, field sobriety tests, FST, Scott F. Anderson, agility testsField sobriety tests, or FSTs, are a critical part of a DUI arrest. If an officer suspects that a motorist may be intoxicated, the officer nearly always asks the driver to perform these agility tests. These tests also indicate whether or not a person is mentally impaired.

There are a number of FSTs, but only three have been approved by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The arresting officers always say that the defendants failed the tests, and therefore they were arrested. By challenging the results, an attorney may be able to show that there was no probable cause for a DUI arrest and a case may be thrown out.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

Most people are familiar with the HGN test. The test administrator, who is nearly always the officer, asks the subjects to follow a point with their eyes without moving their heads. The point is usually the tip of an ink pen in daylight hours and a flashlight at night. Nystagmus is an involuntary eye jerk. If there are four or more clues between the two eyes, the subject may have a BAC of at least .08.

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