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Video evidence considered best witness in DUI stops

Many people are frightened by the mere possibility that they could be pulled over for drunk driving. Even if they haven’t been drinking, that fear is still there because that know that officers in states across the nation, even here in Colorado, have falsified reports to make someone appear as if they had been drinking and driving when in fact they were sober at the time of the stop.

Because dashboard cameras see everything and cannot lie about the events of a DUI stop, many would consider this to be the best way to prevent this sort of injustice from happening down the road. But as you can imagine, not every law enforcement vehicle comes equipped with these devices. In some cases, even if video evidence is brought forward in cases, judges can sometimes throw out this evidence because a person stepped out of frame. Both of these things can mean the difference between dismissed charges and a possible conviction.

But not having video evidence for criminal defense or having a judge all too quickly throw out potentially beneficial evidence is not just a problem affecting Colorado drivers. Even on the other side of the country in South Carolina drivers have raised this same issue. Lawmakers are currently addressing it through legislation that would not only make dash cams a requirement in law enforcement vehicles but it would prevent magistrates from quickly dismissing video evidence.

Though this new legislation will not have an effect on residents here in Colorado, it could cause our state lawmakers to consider similar legislation. If this happens, then we could start seeing a better witness in DUI cases down the road.

Source: Wistv.com, “Proposed law would require standards for DUI arrest videos,” PJ Randhawa, May 20, 2014

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