NMCOA rejects challenge to radar technology used to determine drivers’ speed

Defendant Juan Garcia was convicted of driving 78 miles per hour in a 65-mile-per-hour speed zone, based on the testimony of a police officer who used radar technology to determine his speed. On appeal, Garcia argued that expert testimony was required to establish that radar technology is a scientifically reliable method of determining a driver’s speed.

In State v. Garcia (a unanimous opinion by Judge Megan Duffy), the Court of Appeals rejected this claim based on the longstanding and widespread acceptance of radar as a method of determining driver speed, and on Garcia’s failure to offer any evidence or argument to the contrary. In addition, the Court held that the police offer was properly allowed to testify that the radar unit that he used was operating properly.

Judges Jennifer Attrep and Briana Zamora joined the opinion. Maris Veidemanis was counsel for the State, and Daniel R. Lindsey represented Mr. Garcia.

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