Friday, November 04, 2005

Stump the Law Librarian

Q: What can you tell me about tests for drunk driving? For example, when they make you follow a penlight with your eyes, is there a certain distance they're supposed to stand away from you?

A: The test you're referring to is called "horizontal gaze nystagmus." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a resource guide just on this test. In addition, the Wisconsin State Patrol's training manual answers the distance question: the object that the suspect is following with his or her eyes should be 12 to 15 inches in front of the eyes for ease of focus and held above eye level so the eyes are wide open when the suspect looks directly at it. You can also find information about breath tests for intoxication in the WI Statutes sections 343.303-343.305 and other resources on the WI State Law Library's website.