Folks, we have an answer. The court of appeals held yesterday in State v. Younts, ___ N.C. App. ___ (2017), that a law enforcement officer trained to administer a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test may properly testify about the results of a test he administered without any determination by the trial court that HGN testing is scientifically reliable.
The question I am most frequently asked these days is some version of the following:
May a law enforcement officer trained in administering the HGN test testify at trial about a defendant’s performance on the test if no other expert testifies about the relationship between nystagmus and impairment by alcohol?
While the answer obviously is either yes or no, there is more than one way to analyze the issue. Since today is Thursday, I’m going to throw it back to Bob Barker and the Price is Right and give you two showcases to consider.