DUI Video Evidence In Broward County
Video evidence is among the most important evidence the Assistant State Attorney can use against a DUI defendant, but it can frequently work in the defendant’s favor, depending on what the video shows. There are any number of possible scenarios in which a DUI video provides evidence useful to a defendant, according to experienced Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William Moore.
In the case of a DUI suspect who performs the roadside field sobriety exercises, decent or good performance can work in his favor. This is true regardless of whether or not there is a breath test reading. For instance, if the driver suspected of DUI performs the roadside tests reasonably well, especially in light of the fact that they are unusual activities drivers are not accustomed to performing, the video is more helpful to the suspect and his DUI defense attorney. One interesting argument in this scenario is when the driver actually receives a very high breath test reading. These two things occasionally happen. If a driver blows a 0.32 breath test reading — four times the “legal limit” at which intoxication is presumed — yet still performs the exercises well, a reasonable jury may well understand that the breathalyzer may have been faulty or inaccurate.
If a video captures the time leading up to a traffic stop, the driving pattern may also be under scrutiny. If a person is pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, the police officer will need to be able to justify the traffic stop. Failure to maintain a single lane, just by itself, will probably not cause reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop if the driver is not affecting other traffic. However, weaving, drifting into another lane, failing to go at a green light, and very slow driving speeds may all trigger traffic stops.
Another possible scenario would be when a non-English speaking driver is pulled over by an officer who cannot communicate effectively with him. As a result, the driver may not understand the instructions for either the roadside field sobriety tests or the breath test machine. If a police officer fails to adequately (or correctly) explain the consequences of refusal, regardless of the language the officer and the driver are communicating in, that may also work in a DUI defendant’s favor. Likewise, a police officer or breathalyzer operator who is extremely rude or expresses a bias may not win favor with a jury hearing the DUI case.