Finally some accountability and a proper DUI case outcome.
A Fairfax County judge has dismissed 4 DUI cases because the same arresting officer failed to properly utilized his squad car’s video and audio during the DUI stop.
Fairfax County police general orders require that officers test their audio and video recording equipment before a shift and utilize both during traffic stops, including DUI stops.
Officer L.F. Martinez however failed to do so. And not surprisingly his version of the events of the stop varied quite significantly from those whom he pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence.
So how is anyone supposed to know whose version was more accurate if Officer Martinez takes his DUI suspects off camera to perform field sobriety tests?
And that is exactly what Officer Martinez did.
An attorney of one of the suspects said that Officer Martinez testified that he moved suspects off camera to perform sobriety tests in some instances to find level ground. He also testified he was reluctant to leave the suspects alone to swivel the camera in the proper direction to film the tests.
Fairfax County police spokesman, Don Gotthardt, said that “there is no specific requirement that the officer conducting a sobriety stop keep the subject within view of the camera.”
I’m sorry, but then what’s the point of the camera?
“When you’ve got this type of equipment, it’s there for everyone’s protection,” said Eric Clingan, a lawyer who handled one of the cases. “It protects the police as much as the citizen.”