There are numerous factors a judge or jury can consider in determining whether a person is guilty of DWI, and in many cases, the court will rely on cumulative evidence in determining a person’s guilt. If the State does not have sufficient evidence to prove a defendant was driving while under the influence, the defendant should not be convicted. Recently, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New Jersey clarified that the results of a horizontal gaze nystagmus test, standing alone, are not sufficient to prove guilt in a DWI case. If you are faced with DWI charges it is prudent to consult a skilled New Jersey DUI defense attorney to discuss your potential defenses.
Factual and Procedural Background
It is reported that the defendant was charged with and convicted of DWI. He appealed, arguing in part that the court erred in considering the results of a horizontal gaze nystagmus test as proof of the defendant’s intoxication. On appeal, the court reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings.
Sufficiency of HGN Test as Evidence of DWI
The horizontal gaze nystagmus test involves the police holding a pen to either side of a defendant’s face and asking the defendant to gaze toward the pen while keeping his or her head still. A person’s eye will involuntarily jerk when looking to the side, but in instances in which a suspect is intoxicated the jerking will become exaggerated. Continue reading