I tried a DUI in Howard County this morning. There was a video…..sort of. Because of trooper’s vehicles being hit by inattentive or impaired drivers, they are no longer allowed to do the SFSTs in front of their police car where their in-car video captures the testing. This applies even when there are two police cars and the second car is protecting the car with the video. This happened today, and the answer was the SFTSs still have to be in front of the client’s car. Instead the SFSTs are performed in front of the client’s car where everything except the HGN is almost impossible to see. You can see whether your client walks straight on the walk and turn test or hops on the one-leg stand test, but it is not easy. In this case the audio was inoperable. Without the limited video it would have been a guilty based on the trooper’s recollection.
The video clearly showed my client’s exit from the car, his walk to the front of his car, his ability to stand without rocking or swaying, his walk back to the trooper’s vehicle after being handcuffed, and his ability to stand still while he was searched. The judge thought it was close and in that circumstance the client gets acquitted. It is going to be more difficult to attack videos, but like today, you have to find every small thing you can point out to show your client was not impaired.