The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test (HGN) in Mississippi is a field sobriety test designed to measure a driver’s impairment due to alcohol or drugs. It measures the degree of nystagmus (or involuntary jerking) in the eyes and the lack of smooth pursuit as a driver follows an object visually without moving his or her head. A police officer who has detained a driver on suspicion of DUI will often use his finger or a pen, moving it horizontally in front of the driver to determine if there is any nystagmus.

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What’s important about the HGN test in Mississippi is that courts have ruled it is a scientific test that has not been generally accepted in the scientific community. HGN is unreliable, courts have said, and cannot be used as evidence of impairment. However, it can be used by police to determine probable cause to make an arrest for DUI, and requesting a blood or breath alcohol test.

If you took the HGN test and have been charged with drunk driving, talk to a Southaven DUI lawyer about the case. The HGN cannot be used as evidence against you, but there will certainly be other evidence that needs to be analyzed. Attorney Patrick Stegall can be reached at (901) 205-9894 or

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