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HGN Exercise - Miami DUI Lawyer

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The HGN (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus) is a DUI exercise where a police officer will ask an individual that is under investigation to follow the tip of a pen light with his eyes.

How is the HGN Exercise supposed to be administered?

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) refers to a lateral jerking when the eye gazes to the side. Alcohol consumption hinders the ability of the brain to correctly control eye muscles, therefore causing the jerk or bounce associated with HGN. According to the NHTSA manual the HGN Test should be administered in a well lit area, set away from the traffic and the flashing lights of the police vehicle. The HGN test requires an object for subjects to follow with their eyes, such as the tip of a penlight. The officer places the object approximately twelve to fifteen inches from the subject's face and slightly higher than eye level. The officer instructs the subject to follow the object with his eyes while his head remains still.

What are the police measuring?

Can I fail the Exercise?

NO – Roadside exercises are NOT TESTS. They are simply measuring devices used to try to measure potential impairment.

What if I have an injury that does not allow me to perform well?

After positioning the object, but before conducting the test, the officer checks for signs of medical impairment. First, the officer checks for equal tracking by moving the object quickly across the subject's entire field of vision to see whether the eyes follow the object simultaneously. The officer then checks for equal pupil size. Lack of equal tracking or equal pupil size may indicate blindness in one eye, a glass eye, a medical disorder or an injury. If the subject exhibits lack of equal tracking or equal pupil size the officer should discontinue the HGN test since the results would be unreliable.

How can a trained Miami DUI attorney help me if I don't do well on the exercises?

If your case calls for a jury trial, the trained DUI lawyers at Gilbert and Smallman will cross examine the officer on their procedure. Often times this exercise is conducted by an officer who is not properly certified to administer the test. The officer is required to complete at least 20 practice tests in order to be properly certified to conduct the HGN test. Also, a portion of the general population has a natural nystagmus without consuming any alcohol at all. Consequently, the results of the test can be misleading when used as a measure of impairment. The bottom line is that if these exercises are not performed in the manner in which the NHTSA prescribes, the police officer will look biased in front of a jury for making assumptions about impairment, when in fact, they haven't done their job correctly. We are able to turn the tables on the police and put them on trial.

It is your liberty and license at stake, and we take that very seriously. Please visit our case victories to learn more about some of the results we have had on DUI cases in the past. We offer free consultations and payment plans to those in need. Get in contact with an experienced Miami, Fort Lauderdale or Tallahassee DUI lawyer today. We answer our phones and are happy to speak to you about your case.

In Fort Lauderdale and Miami, our attorneys handle cases in the following areas of criminal law:

Our Law Offices are Located at:

New Office As Of
March 28th

3475 Sheridan St. #301
Hollywood, FL 33021

Miami Office

The White Building
One Northeast Second Ave,
Suite 200
Miami, FL 33132
Phone: (786) 371-4431
Fax: (305) 358-2503

Tallahassee Office

909 East Park Avenue
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Phone: (850) 391-7045
Fax: (850) 391-6152

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Contact Harris Gilbert at 786.371.4431 or e-mail him directly to hgilbert@hgilbertlaw.com for a free consultation.
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Broward Office
(As of March 28, 2014)

3475 Sheridan St. #301
Hollywood, FL 33021
Office: (954) 251-3106
Cell: (954) 661-7371
Fax: (954) 404-6003

Miami Office

The White Building
One Northeast Second Ave,
Suite 200
Miami, FL 33132
Office: (786) 863-8568
Cell: (786) 371-4431

Tallahassee Office

909 East Park Avenue
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Phone: (850) 391-7045
Fax: (850) 391-6152