The HGN test is only about 77% accurate at detecting alcohol impairment, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Expanding access to free transit could reduce the amount of impaired drivers on the road, but Rep. Gov. Charlie Baker would prefer to leave that job up to state troopers. The governor refiled a failed bill from 2019 that would make it easier for cops to go after drivers who may have THC in their system, since that’s a major problem facing people in Mass.
State police would also be allowed to check your electronic device for evidence that you might be under the influence, making drunk or stoned texts much more dangerous than simple humiliation. The state could also revoke the license of those refusing chemical-based or blood tests during traffic stops.
Furthermore, the proposed legislation would order state courts to consider the presence of THC in a driver’s system as evidence of impairment. This would be despite recommendations against doing so from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because there is still not a legitimate THC road test and the chemical remains in a person’s bloodstream for days if not weeks after they consume it.
Far beyond the boundaries of science, the bill would enable state police to use the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, which is the one where an officer makes a driver follow their pencil with their eyes. While the test can be used to detect possible alcohol intoxication, there is not much evidence that it is as effective at detecting whether or not someone is stoned.
The HGN test is only about 77% accurate at detecting alcohol impairment, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Not that any of that matters when you consider how frequently police incorrectly apply the test, according to the National College for DUI Defense’s guide for attorneys combatting DUI charges, or that the people trying to enact these measures are relentless prohibitionist trolls.