The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test is Biased Against Women

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The horizontal gaze nystagmus test is an eye test approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (hereinafter NHTSA) as a tool to detect clues of impairment in drivers.  The HGN test is one of three psychomotor tests approved as part of the standardized field sobriety testing protocol employed by law enforcement officers throughout the United States and used here in Ohio.  The HGN is a test broken down into three components:

  • a smooth pursuit portion, wherein the officer attempts to discern if the eyeball is able to smoothly track a stimulus;
  • a portion of the test requires the officer to take the eye to its maximum deviation and discern whether or not the eyeball exhibits a twitching or bouncing;
  • a portion of the test seeking to determine if the distinct bouncing occurs prior to  45 degrees.

The smooth pursuit portion of the test is strongly influenced by gender.  Women do worse on this portion of the test than men.  ICS Medical Corporation, Pursuit Testing with Computers: A Status Report, ENG REPORT (Feb. 1988); D.H. Jackson, J.A. Sharpe, Smooth Pursuit in Senescence: Effects of Target Acceleration and Velocity, 104; 290-297, ACTA OTOL (1987).  Read more about this topic in Understanding DUI Scientific Evidence, 2001 Ed., Apastore at pp. 52-53.  Your DUI attorney can tell you how to use this scientific information in such a way as to win your case.  This type of scientific evidence can be a valuable tool in plea negotiations and/or in determining if probable cause existed upon which to base an arrest.

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia, Miamisburg, Springboro, Huber Heights, Beavercreek, Centerville and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook, and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

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