Common Field Sobriety Eye Test Thrown Out By Oregon Appellate Court

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jul 06, 2011 | 0 Comments

A recent decision by an appellate court in Oregon found the Vertical Gaze Nystagmus test unscientific and improperly admitted in a DUI trial.  In the underlying case a driver was stopped for speeding and displayed no other signs of reckless driving.  He was given the standard field sobriety tests, including the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, which is when the law enforcement officer holds a pen or stimulus at certain angles and makes the suspected DUI driver follow it with their eyes.  If the eyeballs jerk in movement, it is evidence that the driver is under the influence.  The vertical gaze nystagmus, the case thrown out by the Oregon Court, is said to appear in the eyes if the driver is very intoxicated - i.e. a high blood alcohol content or large quantities of drugs.  The Oregon Court seemed to think that the science behind the Vertical Gaze Nystagmus is questionable and not something the jury should have taken into consideration. 

Gwinnett County and City of Duluth, GA police officers and members of the DUI task force often conduct the vertical gaze nystagmus on DUI suspected drivers.  Gwinnett prosecuting attorneys than rely on the results in making plea offers and in their motion and trial arguments.  If you have recently been arrested in Duluth or the greater Gwinnett County area, you may have had the officer conduct this test on you and attempt to use it against you in the criminal and administrative license suspension proceedings.  Challenges can be made to this results of this test.  Call experienced Duluth, GA DUI attorney Richard S. Lawson to discuss field sobriety tests and your DUI case. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard S. Lawson is passionate about intoxicated driving defense. Unlike some attorneys, Mr. Lawson devotes 100% of his legal practice to helping people stand up for their rights against DUI charges. For more than 20 years, Mr. Lawson has dutifully fought for his clients' freedom, resolving more 4,900 impaired driving cases during the course of his career. Today, Mr. Lawson has developed a reputation as a skilled negotiator and continues to help clients by fighting to keep them out of jail.


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