State v. Merritt
In State v. Merritt, 36 Conn. App. 76, 647 A.2d 1021 (1994), the trial court admitted testimony regarding the HGN test and its results without requiring that the state satisfy the criteria for the admission of scientific evidence.
The Court concluded that "the HGN test and its results are based on a scientific principle, namely, that there is a discernable correlation between the increased incidence of and the angle of the onset of nystagmus and alcohol consumption." State v. Merritt, supra, 36 Conn. App. 90.
The Court further noted that "the HGN test is unfamiliar to jurors, and a juror would not be in a position to weigh the testimony concerning the HGN test and its results without abandoning common sense and sacrificing independent judgment to the expert's assertions, which are based on understanding the technical aspects of the test." Id., 91.
The Court held that, prior to admission, testimony regarding HGN tests and its results are the type of scientific evidence that must comply with the then prevailing requirements in Connecticut for the admission of scientific evidence derived from Frye v. United States, 54 App. D.C. 46, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923). State v. Merritt, 36 Conn. App. at 91.