The California Highway Patrol in San Diego County usually use video to tape the driving of a DUI suspect. Many times an attorney will have the opportunity to view the video at some point.

While CHP use is suspicious as they do not usually videotape the sometimes pivotal – and always questionable DUI field sobriety testing – at least they use video.

And all other DUI enforcement agencies in San Diego county should, too, drunk driving lawyers contend. San Diego Police Department, Sheriff’s Department and all municipal police agencies should be using a video. There should be a law or order to do so. It’s only fair!

Santa Barbara took a huge step forward in that regard today:

GRAND JURY ENDORSES PATROL VEHICLE CAMERAS

The Santa Barbara County Grand Jury has issued a report endorsing the use of audio/video camera equipment in the patrol vehicles of local law enforcement agencies. Currently only Santa Barbara and Guadalupe police departments do not have the technology installed in their patrol vehicles.

In its report, the Grand Jury cites positive results among those agencies that have adopted this technology. “In all cases, agencies that work in law enforcement and have installed audio/video equipment say they are supportive of the use of this technology,” said Ted Sten, Grand Jury Foreman. The purpose of the system is to provide an unbiased record that can be used to supplement a law enforcement officer’s arrest or incident report.

The Grand Jury concluded the police departments of the cities of Santa Barbara and Guadalupe should obtain and install audio/video equipment in their patrol vehicles. The report also suggests that the costs for the equipment could be offset through the decreased cost of litigation.

The entire report can be found on the Grand Jury’s website at www.sbcgj.org.

The Santa Barbara County Grand Jury is a basic part of the government within the judicial branch. The Grand Jury acts independently, but it is under the general control of the Superior Court Presiding Judge to assure that it acts in accordance with the Penal Code of the State of California.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date October 7, 2011

For more information contact:
Ted Sten, Grand Jury Foreman
(805) 568-2291

So come on San Diego county DUI cops, let’s play fair. Please obtain and install audio/video equipment in your patrol vehicles for the protection of motorists and citizens everywhere!

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