Maryland Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus DUI Tests 

A Maryland horizontal gaze nystagmus DUI test is a common sobriety test. The horizontal gaze nystagmus test is a test that looks for the involuntary jerking of the eyeball, which happens often in the peripherals of the eyes. An officer uses either a pen or a small instrument with a light at the top and they hold it out in front of the person’s face, and they have to put it at a certain point and at exactly the certain height. 

It is just above the eye line pretty much right between the person’s eyebrows. At about 12 inches out, they will move it out to the right and back in and to the left and back in. For more information on the sobriety test, talk to a skilled Maryland DUI lawyer.

How Maryland Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus DUI Test is Scored

The Maryland horizontal gaze nystagmus DUI test is scored out of six points. They look for three points on each side. In most DUI situations, a person gets a six out of six. Everyone fails the test across the board. It has been argued in over half the state that it should be inadmissible. It is a test that an officer cannot possibly be trained in because other officers train them and they are doing something that a doctor would do in a very controlled environment. 

Where Tests Are Administered

All the tests are given on the side of a road where a sound, a car passing by, a wind blowing in a person’s face could adversely affect the test. They look for alcohol impairment by the nystagmus – where the eyes wiggle. It is constantly moving, and the officer would observe the suspect with a pen or small light and they move it out for two seconds. 

They hold it at about 45 degrees, come back in for two seconds, and then they repeat on the other side. They look for movement in the eyes and a distinction of a nystagmus at “maximum deviation”, which is about 45 degrees. It is possible that there may be a BAC of a 0.08 or greater.

Issues with the Test

There have been a number of studies that have shown that the Maryland horizontal gaze nystagmus in DUI cases can be influenced by medications and other elements that a person can take legally. There are many issues with the test itself. It is not very well received. In Maryland, the state’s attorney would have to offer the officer an expert and then the defense attorney can challenge that in court. There are a number of judges who will not allow evidence relying solely upon the HGN alone. But, again, it is scored out of six and almost everyone seems to get six out of six. For more information on Maryland horizontal gaze nystagmus in DUI cases, contact a skilled and local attorney who knows how procedures work and how the legal system operates. Do not compromise your freedoms. Call a lawyer today for professional legal advice.