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Ohio State Patrol car cameras

Niles, OH |

Are there typically cameras aside from the front view? I was given field tests on the side of the car and wonder of there are side cameras to capture them. Thank you.

When I was arrested, he placed me in the front passenger seat too... all of this seems a bit odd to me. Thank you all for answering!

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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
www.deterslaw.com
(937) 224-1100

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

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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4 comments

Asker

Posted

I could understand "officer safety", but what throws me off is he drove to the police station with me in the passenger seat. If I was a safety concern to him, he should have had me in the back I would think.

Patrick Sean Leary

Patrick Sean Leary

Posted

Well, that is an odd one. The "officer safety" I referred to is during the administration of the SFST's. I have heard troopers/officers testify in some of my hearings that they perform the SFST's near the side of the vehicle so they can see if other cars/persons approach, and so that they are not between their vehicle and the suspect's vehicle in the case of a rear collision crash. But really, in my opinion, this is a guise to do the tests out of the view of the camera so that the administration of the tests cannot easily be critiqued during a motion to suppress. The fact that he had you ride in the passenger seat puzzles me. They will sometimes have you sit there for a while (while stationary) to determine if you have an odor of alcohol on your breath, but not the ride to the station. Maybe it was a short ride and he was being nice?

Asker

Posted

I think you are very correct that he didn't want the tests to be on video because I can't think of any reason why they'd be off camera. The tests took place in a middle of a parking lot and he had a backup officer (his car was on the other side of his car so I don't see that recording video). It was about a 5-8 minuet ride to the station. Now that I think about it, he didn't even put my seat belt on while I was being transported. Thanks for the great replies.

Patrick Sean Leary

Patrick Sean Leary

Posted

You are welcome. Let me know if I can be of any further assistance. Good luck.

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