No, there is only the dash mounted camera (usually) but it can swivel 360 deg. Having said that, Troopers are trained / Instructed to do FST's in front of the camera and should do so whenever possible. It's pretty rare to find a Trooper who does not do so.
----- Original Message -----
I agree with the prior attorney's response regarding the rarity of field sobriety tests administered on the side of the vehicle. Some questions arise from that issue such as whether or not there was another unit present that was videotaping the tests, whether or not the oscillating lights were in the subjects eyes when the HGN was performed, whether or not the ground was level and more. All of those and other factors effect the accuracy of the test results. You should retain counsel for the matter and if you cannot afford a lawyer have one appointed by the court.
Yes, there are typically cameras in two places in a patrol car: (1) Facing Forward in the cruiser towards the front of the patrol car; and (2) Facing towards the Back Seat of the cruiser.
But, for the camera facing forward in the cruiser, OSP typically has it facing directly forward. However, many troopers take motorists off the side of the road, so that the SFST's will not be on camera. The troopers can easily reposition the cameras towards the SFST's. GOOD DUI Troopers will do so. Marginal ones will not. Troopers who usually lose in trial, do NOT reposition the camera. Why? Because its the video that usually hangs them up!
Attorney Mark A. Deters
Deters Law LLC
Legal disclaimer: Mark A. Deters is licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio. All information given is based only on Ohio law, and is not directly applicable to any other jurisdictions, states, or districts. This response, or any response, is not legal advice. This response, or any response, does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information. Any state specific concerns should be directed to an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that respective state
Typically there is only the "dash mount" camera which turns 360 degrees. Some newer cruisers have a a front/rear facing "dash mount" camera along with a camera located in the rear of the vehicle recording the activity in the rear seat of the cruiser.
Many officers will administer the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests off camera in order that defense counsel cannot question the administration of the tests.
Regarding the cameras and their positioning, I agree with the attorneys that have previously answered. I also agree that the troopers SHOULD perform the SFST's on camera whenever possible. However, as another attorney noted, troopers will often have those tests performed off camera stating "officer safety" so that the attorney cannot attack the administration of the tests. I have encountered this in a number of cases. Good luck.
~~~~~~~~~~ Patrick Leary is a licensed attorney in Ohio. Any answers provided by Mr. Leary in the Q&A Forum are intended to be informative, but should not be considered legal advice. Furthermore, answers provided herein do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Thank you.
A roundup of the best tips and legal advice.