Home > Journals > LAWREVIEW > Vol. 89 > No. 1 (2015)
The Need for Speed and Judicial Notice: New York's Admissibility of Lidar Technology in Law Enforcement
Focusing at the state level, this Note proposes to establish uniformity within New York State by means of judicial notice or legislative action. Part I provides a history, background, and the development of LIDAR, commencing with its predecessor, radar. It discusses LIDAR’s technical workings and the importance of its current usage to law enforcement. Part I also compares LIDAR to radar, which is nationally accepted. Part II explores New York’s adherence to the admissibility standard set forth in Frye v. United States, and shows how New York’s lower courts have been approaching the issue by analyzing several court decisions in which the courts have differed in approach. Part II likewise explores how several other states have approached the issue of LIDAR reliability and explains why New York should follow suit. Part III offers two proposed solutions to the admissibly question. The first is through the normal channels of obtaining judicial notice, a ruling from the New York Court of Appeals, which establishes the reliability and admissibility of LIDAR. The second, more favorable, approach requires that the New York State legislature pass a law proclaiming the reliability of all speed detection devices. Part III proposes a model statute that the New York State legislature could pass to resolve the issue. It also explores the advantages of legislative action over judicial notice and the public policy justifications.