I passed the eye test so why was I arrested for DUI in Illinois anyway?

I passed the DUI eye test and I was arrested for DUI in Illinois anyway - what happened? A Chicago area DUI lawyer explains

(or, what is that DUI eye test I took all about anyway?)

If you've been arrested for DUI in Illinois, or anywhere, really, the odds are pretty high you were subjected to a lovely set of roadside tests while you stood there in a daze watching your professional and personal life flash before your eyes (in addition to the emergency lights flashing before your eyes, but we'll get back to that).

Police Officers trained in DUI enforcement (meaning trained to gather evidence to support an Illinois DUI arrest) give an eye test lovingly called a horizontal gaze nystagmus test. This is the mysterious eye test you took.

This standardized field sobriety test is commonly used by physicians like neurologists, opthamologists, and others to help diagnose a wide range of possible medical conditions. Over 200 in fact. Police officers try to use it to confirm the presence of alcohol in your system acting on your nervous system.

Most people arrested for DUI in Illinois believe they passed that eye test and can't imagine what they did wrong. That's partly because it's highly unlikely that you can observe what the officer is looking for as he or she gazes into your eyes.

To put it simply, the officer is looking for a telltale shaking of the eye. They're looking to see where that shaking starts for a clue as to whether you've consumed alcohol.

You can't tell whether your eye is shaking because your brain adjusts, and you don't notice. That's why people who naturally have eye conditions or other neurological conditions are allowed to drive at all here in Illinois.

This test is often of very limited value, as most people admit consuming alcohol. And if you're at least 21 years-old, as any experienced Illinois DUI attorney can tell you, drinking and driving is not a crime.

Many factors can produce this shaking, which further limits the value of this eye test. Factors like any of those hundreds of medical conditions. Like flashing emergency lights. Like high winds (we are in Chicago, right?). Like rain or snow.

The bottom line is that defending a Chicago area DUI arrest comes down to understanding this test and others, as well as how to explain the limitations of the value of this DUI 'eye test' in Court. And it's why, whether your court for DUI is in Chicago, Skokie, Rolling Meadows, Waukegan, Maywood, Wheaton, Bridgeview or Markham, you should pick up the phone and call us right now at 847-635-8200 to speak with an experienced Illinois DUI lawyer at our law firm.

Where do we appear in court?

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Our Des Plaines location is strategically located minutes from I-294, Edens expressway and I-355. We regularly appear for Illinois Criminal defense, DUI defense and Traffic violations throughout Cook, Lake and DuPage county courts, including all of Chicago, Skokie, Rolling Meadows, Bridgeview, Markham, Maywood, Waukegan, Wheaton and more.

The information on this website is general information only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Receipt or viewing of this information is not intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client relationship. Fagan, Fagan & Davis is a partnership of professional corporations, including Joseph M. Fagan, PC, Alan T. Davis, PC, Jeffrey A. Fagan, PC, and Steven H. Fagan, PC.

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