HawkEye Field Sobriety Test Checks for Pupil Dilation

The "HawkEye" is designed to be used by police to test for dilation of the pupil, magnifying the eyes of the perp and recording them for use in court. The Standard Field Sobriety Test requires an officer to estimate pupil size, but the HawkEye overlays a pupil scale chart over the recorded eyes for handy reference. My pupils don't dilate when I'm drunk, you might think. And you're right. The HawkEye isn't testing for alcohol, but for hallucinogens, many of which cause the eyes to go black with the festering blood of consumed children. Including, according to the site, marijuana. (The drug war is a travesty, but still, you know, don't drive high. Seriously. It can wait.) If you're high right now, though, here's a Make Your Own Joke assignment: The inventor's name is "Dick Studdard." Product Page [Acunetx.com via MedGadget via Jalopnik]
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9 Responses to HawkEye Field Sobriety Test Checks for Pupil Dilation

  1. Leslie says:

    This REALLY scares me. When my 18-year-old daughter visits the eye doctor they are able to examine her eyes without dilating eye drops. Apparently a combination of her natural physiology and anti-depressant meds she takes keep her eyes dilated. Up till now, the only real downside has been the need for dark glasses to protect her sensitive eyes in sunlight, but I can imagine the legal battle she might face if these things are in the hands of the Atlanta PD.

  2. mikkkka says:

    Finally, the Voight-Kampff test!

  3. JArmstrong says:

    It is not a “crime conviction tool”, but rather a privacy-stripping tool.

    In a court of law, dilation of pupils proves absolutely nothing, unlike breathalyzers which are a decent indicator of blood-alcohol level.
    So, noone is likely to get convicted for driving under the influence based just upon dilated pupils.

    The real threat here is that police have another tool to “test” automobile drivers, the results of which may give them probable cause to search the car and driver. Police will likely claim that dilated pupils may indicate hallucinogenics usage, which may indicate that the driver is unstable and therefore dangerous, which would give them the right to search the person and the grabbing area around the person.

  4. rAMPANTiDIOCY says:

    driving high is fine. fuck the war on drugs.

  5. Earth Man says:

    Dicktard has clearly not been invited to enough parties in his life.

  6. Gully Foyle says:

    Cannabis is associated with slight pupillary constriction, not dilation. Nevertheless, the SFST has been demonstrated to detect THC in a dose-dependent fashion. Unfortunately for the HawkEye, the OLS (one leg stand) test is the only part of the SFST sensitive to THC inebriation.

    That the SFST detects THC at all means that it’s not very useful, though, because cannabis is consistently shown to have rather mild effects on driving.

    Two findings are essentially universal in THC and driving research. People who have THC in their system: a) drive better than drivers on doses of alcohol as low as BAC 0.08%, b) show more awareness of the possibility that their state could impair performance, and compensate with more conservative driving. Alcohol, in contrast, produces more aggressive driving in individuals who generally report that their driving is, if anything, better, in stark contrast to its serious deterioration.

    Driving on drugs is not a great idea, but not all drugs are equally risky. I think part of the problem is that many people only have experience with the legal alcohol, and assume that all illegal psychoactives must impair performance more – an understandable but completely inaccurate assumption. Even worse, people are constantly testing new ways to impair driving performance not in the lab, but on the road! I shudder when I think of the exotic prescription psychoactive cocktails impairing drivers weaving all over the road, gabbing on their cell phones, in their behemoth SUVs….

  7. snackcake says:

    “the war on drugs” is to drugs as “To Catch A Predator” is to stopping pedophilia. It’s more about politics and fear, than it is about reality, science, or truth.

    That said; most drug users I know are not functional, well-adjusted people, and would probably be a lot better off without drugs.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’m afraid this is marketing nonsense. I’ve done a lot of work on pupillary reflex circuits as a neuroscientist. Stress itself changes pupillary size and the individual’s varied response to being pulled over will have an enormous impact on pupil size, as will time of day, ambient lighting, whether or not they are wearing contacts. This would only work if there was a baseline for each individual pulled over.

  9. sonny p fontaine says:

    I got pulled over once while under the influence of LSD. It was an amazing experience and ended with the officer telling me to slow down and no ticket. charmed life i suppose.

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