Only Experts Can Testify About HGN

Author’s note:  I added the conclusory paragraph at the end of this post shortly after its initial publication in response to helpful questions from readers about the significance of State v. Godwin and State v. Torrence.

Like Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, horizontal gaze nystagmus is a mouthful. Unlike Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, not just anyone can utter horizontal gaze nystagmus and sound wise beyond her years. Two recent court of appeals opinions hold that that a witness be qualified as an expert before testifying about the results of a horizontal gaze nystagmus test.

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