Arrested for DWI? Don't Overlook Video Evidence

Posted On December 13, 2010 by Daniel Koewler

Technology keeps improving upon itself. Zack Morris-style cell phones become razor thin PDAs, which become 4G mini-computers. Forensic science keeps evolving too - urine tests fall out of favor, while DNA tests keep getting better.

The steady progress of science has plenty of consequences for anyone arrested for DWI - and not just regarding the test the State performs to determine your level of intoxication. Before the government can even test your blood, breath or urine, a police officer needs to have probable cause to arrest you.

Probable cause is usually determined by observations of the officer and performance on field sobriety tests. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that defense attorneys have little to go on other than what the police officer chooses to write in their after-the-fact police report. Luckily, due to advances in technology, we're seeing more and more video evidence taken at the scene of the stop.

We always request all the audio and video evidence collected by the government whenever we represent a client charged with a DWI. Review of that evidence can take what appeared to be a difficult case and turn it into a slam-dunk. Review of any video evidence provides a good defense attorney with many opportunities to win a case:

- Did the officer actually have a valid reason to pull over your vehicle?

- Were you really "slurring your speech| or |stumbling| (every police report I've read claims as much)

-Did the officer properly and accurately perform the three Standard Field Sobriety Tests (you'd honestly be shocked at how many officers fail on this point, and how often this can lead to an outright dismissal of your charges)

-Did the officer actually provide you with an opportunity to consult with an attorney?

We look forward to the day when every officer is wearing a video camera - it provides so many additional opportunities to scrutinize the arrest process, and can in turn lead to a dismissal of all charges.