APPENDIX J

PREDICATE QUESTIONS

SFST INSTRUCTOR


This is a sample of a generic examination of an SFST instructor. Each officer may have slightly different qualifications. The advantage of calling an instructor in addition to the officer who administered the test to defendant is the instructor's ability to talk more extensively about the training and the widespread use of the HGN test.

1. Please state your name for the record.

2. Where are you employed?

3. How long have you been employed as a police officer?

4. What are your specific duties?

5. How long have you been involved in traffic enforcement?

6. Have you had any specialized training beyond that of a regular police officer in impaired driving enforcement?

7. Please describe that training.

8. What are the standardized field sobriety tests?

9. How long has the standardized test battery been in use in this jurisdiction?

(Check in advance to determine whether the witness knows the answer to this question.)

10. Approximately how many people have you administered the SFSTs to in the past _____years?

11. Are you certified as a standardized field sobriety test instructor?

12. By whom are you certified?

13. How long have you been an SFST instructor?

14. How many SFST courses have you taught?

15. For whom have these courses been taught?

16. What do you have to do to maintain your certification as an SFST instructor?

17. Is one of the tests that you teach the horizontal gaze nystagmus test?

18. Approximately how many officers have you taught to administer the HGN test?

19. How long have you personally been using the HGN test?

20. What specific training was given to you in administering the HGN test?

21. Are you familiar with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) studies regarding the SFSTs?

22. Are you a drug recognition expert (DRE)?

23. What is that?

24. How long have you been a DRE?

25. Are your certified?

26. By whom?

27. What must you do to maintain your certification?

28. Are you also a DRE instructor?

29. How long have you been a DRE instructor?

30. What must you do to maintain your certification as an instructor?

31. For whom have you taught?

32. When were those courses held?

33. Is the HGN test a part of the drug recognition evaluation?

34. Have you testified in court about the HGN test?

35. How many times?

36. Have you been qualified as an expert?

37. In what courts?

(Move to have the witness qualified as an expert.)

38. As an instructor, do you use the Standardized Field Sobriety Test Manual published by NHTSA?

39. Do you teach officers to administer and interpret the HGN test in accordance with the NHTSA instructions?

40. Have you administered the test to persons that your knew were impaired by alcohol?

41. How did you know prior to administering the test that the subject had been drinking?

42. Have you also given the test to persons that you knew had not been drinking?

43. How did you know that they had not been drinking?

44. Do you see any differences in the existence of nystagmus in those who you knew had been drinking as opposed to those you knew had not been drinking?

45. Have you administered the HGN test out on the street when you did not know whether the person had been drinking?

46. How often have you given the test in an actual arrest situation as opposed to a training setting?

47. Do you keep a log of the times you have administered the HGN test with your scoring of the suspect's results?

(This is not required unless the officer is a DRE. Be sure to check with the witness in advance.)

48. Do you also keep a log of the actual BAC these same suspects had as shown by a chemical test?

(If the officer has a log, submit a copy into evidence after authenticating the copy. The officer may not get his original back if it is put in the court record. Although the evidence of the log and results should be admissible in the evidentiary hearing, the court may not allow it into evidence at trial as irrelevant and prejudicial. After all, this is not the officer who administered the test to the defendant.)

49. In your experience, is the HGN test difficult to administer in the field?

50. Please describe how the test is given.

51. How do you estimate the angle of onset?

52. What if the suspect is unable to hold his head still?

53. Have you seen nystagmus in persons who were not impaired by alcohol or other drugs?

54. If a person has alcohol induced nystagmus, does s/he usually know it?

55. Can people voluntarily control nystagmus?

56. Do you have an opinion about whether police officers can be trained to accurately administer the HGN test?

57. What is that opinion?

58. Upon what is that opinion based?

59. Do you have an opinion as to whether police officers can accurately interpret the test results?

60. What is that opinion?

61. Upon what is that opinion based?

62. Do you have an opinion as to whether the HGN test is a reliable indicator of alcohol impairment?

63. What is that opinion?

64. Upon what is that opinion based?

(Many police officers also have training as emergency medical technicians (EMT's) or paramedics. If so, be sure to ask the officer whether the use of the HGN test was taught as part of the training and whether s/he uses the test in his/her emergency medical response.)