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Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)

Of the three field sobriety tests that make up the Standardized Field Sobriety Test developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the test for Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, or HGN, is the only one that you cannot control.

During the HGN test, the officer will ask you to follow an object (such as his or her finger or a pen) with your eyes while keeping your head still. While you are following his directions, the officer is looking for an involuntary, horizontal jerking of your eyeball. HGN does not affect your vision and it is nothing that you can control, so you are relying solely on the officer’s word (or their discretion) regarding whether this movement has taken place. The presence of this muscle spasm can indicate intoxication, but there are a number of other factors that can cause HGN as well.1. Problems With The Inner Ear Labyrinth2. Irrigating The Ears With Warm Or Cold Water Under Peculiar Weather Conditions

3. Influenza
4. Streptococcus Infection
5. Vertigo
6. Measles
7. Syphilis
8. Arteriosclerosishgn
9. Muscular Dystrophy

10. Multiple Sclerosis

11. Korchaff’s Syndrome
12. Brain Hemorrhage
13. Epilepsy
14. Hypertension
15. Motion Sickness
16. Sunstroke
17. Eyestrain
18. Eye Muscle Fatigue
19. Glaucoma
20. Changes In Atmospheric Pressure
21. Consumption Of Excessive Amounts Of Caffeine
22. Excessive Exposure To Nicotine
23. Aspirin
24. Circadian Rhythms
25. Acute Trauma To The Head
26. Chronic Trauma To The Head
27. Some Prescription Drugs, Tranquilizers, Pain Medications, Anti-Convulsants
28. Barbiturates
29. Disorders Of The Vestibular Apparatus And Brain Stem
30. Cerebellum Dysfunction
31. Heredity
32. Diet
33. Toxins
34. Exposure To Solvents, PCB’s, Dry-Cleaning Fumes, Carbon Monoxide
35. Extreme Chilling
36. Lesions
37. Continuous Movement Of The Visual Field Past The Eyes
38. Antihistamine Use

Even if you have any of these conditions, you may not be aware that HGN can be a symptom. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Savannah or Statesboro, you need a qualified, specially trained Savannah DUI attorney that can inform the jury of the other reasons the officer may have noticed an HGN during your field sobriety test. Call Savannah DUI attorney Matt Hube today for a free, no-obligation consultation.