After several well-publicized incidents last year, a number of law enforcement agencies across the country are considering the use of body-mounted cameras, and some police departments are already using the tiny cameras. Following the use of body-mounted cameras by police in Rialto, the Wall Street Journal reported that the use of force by police there declined by 60 percent, and citizen complaints about the Rialto police fell 88 percent. That’s a good sign. But in what other ways will body cameras affect criminal investigations? How might they affect DUI cases, for instance?
A body camera would serve to provide immediate, first-hand evidence in DUI cases. Usually, police officers write their reports hours after an arrest. If an officer alleges that a suspect’s eyes were bloodshot or that a suspect’s speech was slurred, footage from a body camera can verify that those allegations are true or prove that they’re false. Many police departments already use dash-cams, but field sobriety tests of DUI suspects are usually conducted out of the dash-camera’s view. Footage from body cameras will literally show us how well or poorly suspects perform field sobriety tests.
If you’re charged with DUI in Orange County, you’ll need to get legal help at once from an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney. While some believe that the cost of equipping every police officer with a body camera is excessive, that cost is dropping as technology advances. More importantly, when a person’s freedom is at risk, our criminal justice system should be dedicated to finding the truth, even if that truth costs a few dollars, because freedom is priceless. And the value of freedom is one more reason why, if you’re charged with DUI in Orange County or anywhere in southern California, you need to speak immediately with an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.