ARE CLUES FROM THE STANDARD FIELD SOBRIETY TEST ADMISSIBLE IN A TRIAL?

by Margaret Strickland

Yes, in New Mexico, they are all admissible with the exception of one: the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test (HGN) where you follow a pen with your eye; a test based on a person’s eyes twitching involuntarily at different angles when they are intoxicated.

New Mexico courts have found that officer training does not support the scientific basis behind that test, and therefore, unless the State calls in a medical expert, the results of that test are not admissible. But, the other tests are admissible against you in your trial.

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