Gaze nystagmus and blood alcohol

George S. Goding, Robert A. Dobie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Forty-six patients in an emergency room (ER) setting and 159 people suspected of driving while intoxicated (DWI) had their blood alcohol concentrations estimated by the angle of onset of horizontal gaze nystagmus and confirmed by blood alcohol analysis or breath- alcohol analysis (BAA) tests. In the ER group, 25/26 (96%) of legally intoxicated patients (blood alcohol concentration >.10% w/v) had an estimation consistent with intoxication. There were no cases in which the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was incorrectly estimated to be >.10% w/v in the absence of other drugs. In DWI suspects there was a correlation of.878 between estimated BAC and BAA results. Three subjects were incorrectly classified as intoxicated. No subjects with estimated BAC <.10% w/v were legally intoxicated by BAA testing. Alcohol gaze nystagmus is presented ns an effective tool for estimating the BAC in pure alcoholic intoxication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-717
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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