The Week 100 Forensic Science Geek of the Week is Announced

The Forensic Science Geek of the Week

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Forensic Science Geek of the Week

The week 100 “ Forensic Science Geek of the Week” honors goes to:Steven W. Hernandez, Esquire

According to our Geek, the following is offered:

Steven W. Her­nan­dez, Esq., is admit­ted to prac­tice in State of New Jer­sey and the United States Dis­trict Court for the Dis­trict of New Jer­sey. He spe­cial­izes in DWI defense.  Mr. Her­nan­dez is a mem­ber of the National Col­lege of DUI Defense (NCDD). Amer­i­can Bar Asso­ci­a­tion, The New Jer­sey Bar Asso­ci­a­tion, and the Ocean County Bar Asso­ci­a­tion.  He has suc­cess­fully com­pleted the DUI Detec­tion & Stan­dard­ized Field Sobri­ety Test­ing, the same course rec­og­nized by the National High­way Trans­porta­tion Safety Admin­is­tra­tion (NHTSA), used to train police per­son­nel. Mr. Her­nan­dez was the first attor­ney in New Jer­sey to receive his Foren­sic Sobri­ety Assess­ment (FSA) Cer­tifi­cate, by demon­strat­ing knowl­edge of the sci­ence and foren­sic use of road­side sobri­ety testing.

Congratulations to our Forensic Science Geek of the Week winner


1. What is pictured here?

2. How is it purported to work?

3. Has it been validated?

4. What do the studies show?

Our Geek of the Week answered:

(1) The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test

(2) It is “purported” to work when an officer or other “trained” official holds a stimulus (pen, finger, etc.) 12 to 15” from the nose. The stimulus is moved from left to right, taking the left eye as far to the corner of the eye as possible and then repeating it again for the right eye. The officer is looking for nystagmus, which is an involuntary jerking of the eyes brought on by (in the officers suspicion) the consumption of alcohol. The test starts with a check for equal tracking (make sure both eyes can see and follow the stimulus) and equal pupil size. The officer will do three different checks for nystagmus: (a) lack of smooth pursuit, (b) sustained and distinct nystagmus at maximum deviation, and (c) onset of nystagmus prior to 45 degree. By using this last test an Officer can allegedly take the number 50 and subtract the angle of onset to come up with a proposed BAC (The Tharps equation). Each check for nystagmus must be done twice for each eye. Some officers will check for Vertical Gazed Nystagmus (VGN), by lifting the stimulus up and down, rather than right to left.

(3) There have been three validation studies: Colorado (1995), Florida (1997), and San Diego (1998).

(4) Colorado: Done in a controlled environment, says that officers made correct arrest decisions 93% of the time when HGN is done in combination with the Walk and Turn (WAT) and One Leg Stand (OLS), with people with a BAC of .10+

Florida: Done on the street. Studies showed officers made correct decision arrest 95% of time, at detecting people with BAC over .10

San Diego: The test was done to determine whether these tests were valid at detecting BAC’s over .08. According to this study, officers made correct arrest decisions 91% of time.
According to studies, officers should be able to classify persons as being impaired by alcohol 77%, just by using HGN. It has not been validated for drugs.

[BLOGGER’S NOTE: A statistical meta analysis by Dr. Steven Rubenzer, PhD in his published peer reviewed study has found that there is a Percent False Positive Rate at 0.10 BAC of .41 (mean value) and also at 0.08 BAC of .28 (mean vakue). The likelihood ratio of only 3.4 (mean value) at BAC of 0.10 and 3.6 (mean value) at BAC of 0.08.]

The Hall of Fame for the Forensic Science Geek of the Week:

Week 1: Chuck Ramsay, Esquire

Week 2: Rick McIndoe, PhD

Week 3: Christine Funk, Esquire

Week 4: Stephen Daniels

Week 5: Stephen Daniels

Week 6: Richard Middlebrook, Esquire

Week 7: Christine Funk, Esquire

Week 8: Ron Moore, B.S., J.D.

Week 9: Ron Moore, B.S., J.D.

Week 10: Kelly Case, Esquire and Michael Dye, Esquire

Week 11: Brian Manchester, Esquire

Week 12: Ron Moore, B.S., J.D.

Week 13: Ron Moore, B.S., J.D.

Week 14: Josh D, Lee, Esquire

Week 15: Joshua Dale, Esquire and Steven W. Hernandez, Esquire

Week 16: Christine Funk, Esquire

Week 17: Joshua Dale, Esquire

Week 18: Glen Neeley, Esquire

Week 19: Amanda Bynum, Esquire

Week 20: Josh D. Lee, Esquire

Week 21: Glen Neeley, Esquire

Week 22:  Stephen Daniels

Week 23:  Ron Moore, B.S., J.D.

Week 24: Bobby Spinks

Week 25:  Jon Woolsey, Esquire

Week 26: Mehul B. Anjaria

Week 27: Richard Middlebrook, Esquire

Week 28:Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 29: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 30: C. Jeffrey Sifers, Esquire

Week 31: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 32: Mehul B. Anjaria

Week 33: Andy Johnston

Week 34: Ralph R. Ristenbatt, III

Week 35: Brian Manchester, Esquire

Week 36: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 37: Jeffrey Benson

Week 38: Pam King, Esquire

Week 39: Josh D. Lee, Esquire

Week 40: Robert Lantz, Ph.D.


Week 42: Steven W. Hernandez, Esquire

Week 43:Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 44: Mehul B. Anjaria

Week 45: Mehul B. Anjaria

Week 46:Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 47:Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 48: Leslie M. Sammis, Esquire

Week 49: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 50: Jeffery Benson

Week 51: Mehul B. Anjaria

Week 52: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 53: Eric Ganci, Esquire

Week 54: Charles Sifers, Esquire and Tim Huey, Esquire

Week 55: Joshua Andor, Esquire

Week 56: Brian Manchester, Esquire

Week 57: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 58: Eric Ganci, Esquire

Week 59: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 60: Brian Manchester, Esquire

Week 61: William Herringer, Esquire

Week 62: Robert Lantz, Ph.D.

Week 63: Ginger Moss

Week 64: Richard L. Holcomb, Esquire

Week 65: John L. Buckley, Esquire

Week 66: Jeff Sifers, Esquire

Week 67: Josh D. Lee, Esquire

Week 68: Dr. Barbara Vonderhaar, PhD.

Week 69: Christine Funk, Esquire

Week 70: Mehul B. Anjaria

Week 71: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 72: Mehul B. Anjaria

Week 73: Josh D. Lee, Esquire

Week 74: Kim Keheley Frye, Esquire

Week 75: Mehul B. Anjaria and Peter Carini, Esquire

Week 76: Kim Keheley Frye, Esquire

Week 77: Mehul B. Anjaria

Week 78: Steven W. Hernandez, Esquire

Week 79: Kevin Feeney, Esquire

Week 8o: Justin Harris, Esquire


Week 82: Jay Tiftickjian, Esquire

Week 83: Robert Lantz, Ph.D.

Week 84: Steven W. Hernandez, Esquire

Week 85: Pat Arata, Esquire

Week 86: George Schiro

Week 87: Jay Tiftickjian, Esquire

Week 88: Rocky Babson, Esquire


Week 90: Joseph Rome, Esquire

Week 91: Chuck Ramsay, Esquire

Week 92: Laura Magnuson

Week 93: John L. Buckley, Esquire

Week 94: Unclaimed. It could be you!

Week 95: George Schiro

Week 96: Robert Lantz, Ph.D.

Week 97: Unclaimed. It could be you!

Week 98: Kevin Feeney, Esquire

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