field sobriety exercises, Horizontal Gaze Nastagmus

Field Sobriety Exercises | Horizontal Gaze Nastagmus | Are They Really a Test?

Field Sobriety Tests?
Are Field Sobriety Exercises Really Tests? DUI Attorneys, clients, and people who call, frequently ask questions like this one. We decided to post the answers here in a series over the next few months.

Field Sobriety Exercises should not be referred to as a “test,” “pass,” “fail,” or “points”. This minimizes the danger that a jury will attach greater significance to Field Sobriety Exercises to any thing other than a lay witness’  observations of impairment. Meador at 833.

Horizontal Gaze Nastagmus is not admissible into evidence unless the State establishes a traditional scientific predicate, i.e., the test’s general reliability, qualifications of the administrators, and the meaning of the results, prior to admission of the HGN evidence.

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Source: State v. Meador, 674 So.2d 826 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996).