APPENDIX C

HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS STATE CHART SUMMARY

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

The following chart summarizes the admissibility status of the HGN test in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the federal courts. This introduction explains how to use the chart to determine how the appellate court in a given state has ruled regarding the admissibility of the HGN test. The states in bold type have appellate court decisions that directly address the admissibility of the HGN test.

The chart is divided into the three main issues regarding the admissibility of the HGN test: evidentiary admissibility, police officer testimony, and the purpose and limits of the HGN test results. Each issue is further divided into sub-issues. An "X" in a row next to an issue indicates the decision of a state court regarding the issue. For example, in Section I, an Arizona court found that the HGN test is admissible as a scientific test and the Frye standard applies. Section II indicates that an Arizona court found that police officers may testify about their training and experience with HGN in order to testify about the results of the test. A blank box in Section II indicates that the court has not made specific findings as to that particular sub-issue. Finally, Section III indicates that the Arizona court allows prosecutors to use HGN test results for probable cause and as evidence of impairment. The last column on the last page of the chart contains a total of the number of state courts that have ruled on the sub-issues.

For case law language and citations on each of the issues and sub-issues listed in the chart, please turn to appendices D (State Case Law Summary) and E (State Standards for Admitting Scientific Evidence).

For future updates of Appendix C, please contact the National Traffic Law Center, 99 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 510, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314. Phone: 703-549-4253 Fax: 703-836-3195

Last update: 3/02/99

AL

AK

AZ

AR

CA

CO

CT

DE

DC

FL

GA

I. Evidentiary admissibility.

                     

A. Not a scientific test - admissible as a field sobriety test.

                     

B A scientific test - scientific standard not applicable.

     

X

         

X

 

C. A scientific test - meets scientific standard.

 

X

X

 

X

   

X

   

X

  1. A scientific test - does not meet scientific standard.
                     
  • A scientific test - inadequate evidence presented to determine if HGN meets scientific standard.
  • X

             

    X

           

    F. Scientific standard state follows:

                         

    1. Frye (general acceptance)

    X

    X

    X

     

    X

     

    X

           

    2. Daubert/FRE (reliability)

                 

    X

         

    3. Other

                       

    X

                           

    II. Police officer may testify about:

                         

    A. HGN's scientific reliability at admissibility hearing.

                         

    B. Correlation between HGN and alcohol at trial.

                         
    1. HGN test results based on training & experience in administration of test.
     

    YES

    YES

     

    YES

       

    YES

     

    YES

    YES

                           

    III. Purpose and limits of HGN test results.

                         

    A. Probable cause determination in criminal hearing.

     

    X

    X

         

    X

    X

         

    B. Probable cause determination in civil hearing.

                 

    X

         

    C. Evidence of impairment.

     

    X

    X

    X

    X

       

    X

       

    X

    D. Quantify BAC.

                         

    E. Same evidentiary weight as other field tests.

         

    X

                 
                           

    HI

    ID

    IL

    IN

    IA

    KS

    KY

    LA

    ME

    MD

    MA

    I. Evidentiary admissibility.

                         

    A. Not a scientific test - admissible as a field sobriety test.

           

    X

               

    B A scientific test - scientific standard not applicable.

                         

    C. A scientific test - meets scientific standard.

     

    X

    X

           

    X

    X

    X

     
    1. A scientific test - does not meet scientific standard.
                         
  • A scientific test - inadequate evidence presented to determine if HGN meets scientific standard.
  •          

    X

           

    X

    F. Scientific standard state follows:

                         

    1. Frye (general acceptance)

       

    X

       

    X

         

    X

     

    2. Daubert/FRE (reliability)

     

    X

             

    X

    X

     

    X

    3. Other

                         
                           

    II. Police officer may testify about:

                         

    A. HGN's scientific reliability at admissibility hearing.

                         

    B. Correlation between HGN and alcohol at trial.

     

    NO

                     
    1. HGN test results based on training & experience in administration of test.
     

    YES

    YES

     

    YES

       

    YES

    YES

    YES

    YES

                           

    III. Purpose and limits of HGN test results.

                         

    A. Probable cause determination in criminal hearing.

     

    X

    X

           

    X

    X

       

    B. Probable cause determination in civil hearing.

       

    X

                   

    C. Evidence of impairment.

     

    X

    X

     

    X

       

    X

    X

       

    D. Quantify BAC.

                         

    E. Same evidentiary weight as other field tests.

     

    X

       

    X

               
                           

    MI

    MN

    MS

    MO

    MT

    NE

    NV

    NH

    NJ

    NM

    NY

    I. Evidentiary admissibility.

                         

    A. Not a scientific test - admissible as a field sobriety test.

                         

    B A scientific test - scientific standard not applicable.

           

    X

               

    C. A scientific test - meets scientific standard.

    X

    X

     

    X

               

    X

    1. A scientific test - does not meet scientific standard.
       

    X

                   
  • A scientific test - inadequate evidence presented to determine if HGN meets scientific standard.
  •          

    X

         

    X

     

    F. Scientific standard state follows:

                         

    1. Frye (general acceptance)

    X

    X

    X

    X

     

    X

           

    X

    2. Daubert/FRE (reliability)

                     

    X

     

    3. Other

                         
                           

    II. Police officer may testify about:

                         

    A. HGN's scientific reliability at admissibility hearing.

             

    NO

         

    NO

     

    B. Correlation between HGN and alcohol at trial.

       

    NO

                   
    1. HGN test results based on training & experience in administration of test.

    YES

    YES

     

    YES

    YES

           

    YES

     
                           

    III. Purpose and limits of HGN test results.

                         

    A. Probable cause determination in criminal hearing.

       

    X

                   

    B. Probable cause determination in civil hearing.

                         

    C. Evidence of impairment.

    X

    X

     

    X

    X

               

    D. Quantify BAC.

                         

    E. Same evidentiary weight as other field tests.

                         
                           

    NC

    ND

    OH

    OK

    OR

    PA

    RI

    SC

    SD

    TN

    TX

    I. Evidentiary admissibility.

                         

    A. Not a scientific test - admissible as a field sobriety test.

     

    X

    X

           

    X

         

    B A scientific test - scientific standard not applicable.

                         

    C. A scientific test - meets scientific standard.

           

    X

             

    X

    1. A scientific test - does not meet scientific standard.
                         
  • A scientific test - inadequate evidence presented to determine if HGN meets scientific standard.
  • X

       

    X

     

    X

         

    X

     

    F. Scientific standard state follows:

                         

    1. Frye (general acceptance)

             

    X

             

    2. Daubert/FRE (reliability)

    X

       

    X

    X

             

    X

    3. Other

                     

    X

     
                           

    II. Police officer may testify about:

                         

    A. HGN's scientific reliability at admissibility hearing.

    NO

           

    NO

             

    B. Correlation between HGN and alcohol at trial.

    YES

                       
    1. HGN test results based on training & experience in administration of test.

    YES

    YES

    YES

    YES

    YES

       

    YES

       

    YES

                           

    III. Purpose and limits of HGN test results.

                         

    A. Probable cause determination in criminal hearing.

       

    X

                   

    B. Probable cause determination in civil hearing.

                         

    C. Evidence of impairment.

     

    X

    X

     

    X

       

    X

       

    X

    D. Quantify BAC.

                         

    E. Same evidentiary weight as other field tests.

     

    X

    X

    X

         

    X

         
                           

    UT

    VT

    VA

    WA

    WV

    WI

    WY

    US

    TOTALS

    I. Evidentiary admissibility.

                       

    A. Not a scientific test - admissible as a field sobriety test.

    X

                   

    5

    B A scientific test - scientific standard not applicable.

                     

    3

    C. A scientific test - meets scientific standard.

                     

    16

    1. A scientific test - does not meet scientific standard.
                     

    1

  • A scientific test - inadequate evidence presented to determine if HGN meets scientific standard.
  •      

    X

    X

           

    12

    F. Scientific standard state follows:

                       

    1. Frye (general acceptance)

         

    X

               

    2. Daubert/FRE (reliability)

           

    X

             

    3. Other

                       
                         

    II. Police officer may testify about:

                       

    A. HGN's scientific reliability at admissibility hearing.

           

    NO

             

    B. Correlation between HGN and alcohol at trial.

                       
    1. HGN test results based on training & experience in administration of test.

    YES

                     
                         

    III. Purpose and limits of HGN test results.

                       

    A. Probable cause determination in criminal hearing.

                     

    10

    B. Probable cause determination in civil hearing.

           

    X

           

    3

    C. Evidence of impairment.

           

    X

           

    22

    D. Quantify BAC.

                     

    0

    E. Same evidentiary weight as other field tests.

    X

         

    X

           

    9