Are the Police Stops Video Recorded?
Interviewer: When people are pulled over, is that whole sequence video recorded typically by police?
Most Utah Law Enforcements Agencies Video Record the DUI Investigation
Attorney Nebeker: Many times there is a video of the DUI investigation. It depends on which law enforcement agency is involved. Here, we have the local city police. It could be a sheriff from the county sheriff’s office or it could be highway patrol that patrols throughout the state. Most of the time, there is a video.
There are just a select few agencies that don’t have video, but I would say about 80% of the time there is a video of the investigation. That’s either video from inside the police car that’s mounted on the dashboard, and there is also video cameras inside of the backseat of the police car. Anything that is talked about while they’re sitting in the back of the patrol car is recorded.
Some Officers Wear a Small Camera on Their Uniform; It Is Anticipated This Will Be a Standard Practice in the Near Future
A lot of agencies around here now are actually going with the cameras on their uniforms, so they’ll have just a little microphone and camera right on their uniform that will record everything that’s said. Just a few agencies don’t have that technology yet. I think they’re afraid to get it, but they’re realizing that they will need to keep up with the technology. I think within the next few years most everyone will have some form of video or recording device.
Is the Video Beneficial to the Client or the Law Enforcement Agency?
Interviewer: Do you think the video helps your clients?
Juries Are Generally Impressed with Good Performances on the Video
Attorney Nebeker: I would say it would help the client. This is because the things that the officers are looking for are very small details, such as did they step off line more than half-inch, did they raise their arm more than six inches from their side?
If the client does not look like someone who is visibly impaired, when the jury is viewing the video, they do not know those little details that the officers are looking for. I think that juries are generally favorably impressed with a client that makes a good impression on the video.
If they look good on the video, even though they might not be passing the test 100% based on the officer’s observations, it will still look good to a jury, I believe.