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Standardized Field Sobriety Test Explained – Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

Cop conducting field sobriety test

Experienced DWI Defense in Tarrant County and the Dallas – Fort Worth Area

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is one of the most common alcohol-related criminal offenses in Tarrant County, the Dallas – Fort Worth Area, and Texas. An alcohol-related conviction has potentially lifelong consequences, such as, jail or prison time, in-patient rehabilitation, and a stain on your criminal record. The experienced Tarrant County DWI Criminal Defense Lawyers with The Law Office of David Sloane can protect you!

What are the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests?

The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) are used by law enforcement officers to determine if an individual is driving while intoxicated.

The most commonly used Standardized Field Sobriety Tests used by police in Texas are (1) Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, (2) Walk-and-Turn Test, and (3) One-Leg Stand Test.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test Explained

During the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (HGN), the police officer observers the eyes of a person as the individual’s gaze follows a moving object. The police officer is looking for horizontal nystagmus – the involuntary jerking of the eyeball.

When administering the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, the police officer looks for a total of six clues, three clues in each eye:

  • Lack of smooth pursuit The individual’s eye is not smoothly following the object.
  • Distinct nystagmus at maximum deviation The individual’s eye begins to jerk from a far lateral gaze.
  • Onset of nystagmus prior to 45 degrees The point when the individual’s eye starts to jerk (prior to 45 degrees indicates impairment).

If the police officer observes four or more total clues, the person fails the HGN test and is likely to be accused of being intoxicated.

Driving While Intoxicated Explained

In Texas, a person commits the offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.

To learn more about DWI and how our Tarrant County DWI Criminal Defense Lawyers can protect you, visit our Law Office of David Sloane DWI Webpage.

Driving While Intoxicated Punishment

The following is a list of punishments for DWI convictions under the Texas Penal Code:

DWI 1st

Class B Misdemeanor

3 – 180 days in Jail & <$2,000 fine

DWI – Open Container

Class B Misdemeanor

6 – 180 Days in Jail & <$2,000 Fine

DWI 2nd

Class A Misdemeanor

30 Days – 1 Year in Jail & $2,000 - $4,000 Fine

DWI BAC >/= 0.15

Class A Misdemeanor

<1 Year in Jail & <$4,000 Fine

DWI – Child Passenger (<15y/o)

State Jail Felony

180 Days – 2 Years in State Jail Facility & <$10,000 Fine

Felony DWI (DWI 3rd)

3rd Degree Felony

2 years – 10 years in Prison & <$10,000 Fine

How to Fight - Contact Us for a Free Consultation with our Tarrant County DWI Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you or a loved one are facing a DWI accusation, you need aggressive criminal defense representation. A DWI conviction carries substantial jail time, permanently stains your criminal record, and results in numerous collateral consequences. The experienced Tarrant County DWI Criminal Defense Lawyers with The Law Office of David Sloane are here to protect you!

Our Tarrant County DWI Criminal Defense Lawyers have helped thousands of clients fight DWI cases in Texas and throughout the greater Dallas – Fort Worth Area, such as:


Contact us today at (817) 349-7118 for a FREE Consultation with the Tarrant County DWI Criminal Defense Lawyers at The Law Offices of David Sloane!

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