Why Video is Important in DUI Cases

I am against DUIs in general. I don’t think anyone should be out on the street driving a car if their ability to drive is significantly impaired by alcohol or drugs. I’m a Bellevue DUI lawyer, though, so I know that many times people are not charged with DUI because they can’t drive, but because a police officer smells alcohol on their breath and can’t help but arrest them.

And that’s the scary thing about facing a DUI charge. It’s often just the cop and you. It’s his word against yours. And who do you think people are going to believe if asked, you or the cop? And add to the fact that you’ve had anything to drink whatsoever, and it’s an uphill battle. On top of all that, cops are trained to write reports to reflect any bad thing they see. I’ve even seen a police report that said loud music, in the officer’s experience, was a sign of someone driving while intoxicated!

More and more often these days, thankfully, there is a saving grace. As technology has become more widespread and cheaper, more police agencies have begun putting video recorders in their cars. And that’s usually a great thing if you are a DUI defense lawyer or someone charged with DUI.

The reason video is great is that it provides the jurors and the judge a first hand look at what really happened. Did the car swerve all over the road like the report said, or did it one time move to the left side of it’s lane? Was the person’s speech slurred? You can be the judge. More often than not what you see on the video is vastly different than what is in the cop’s report. Why is this? Simple, the cops are taught to write their reports in a specific way. That way takes out any modifiers of what’s being seen. A slight sway is simply a sway. Any movement of the vehicle is weaving.

If you find yourself investigated hope there’s video. And if you’re a DUI attorney, ask for the video. Nine times out of ten you’ll be happy you did.


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