Video of DWI stops to help cops
BATON ROUGE- The city will spend nearly $30,000 to upgrade camera systems in the current DWI task force units and install a system in the mobile breath alcohol test unit.
The cameras will be used to capture each instance of a DWI arrest, from initial contact, to the field sobriety test and even the breath test in some instances.
"When you have a camera in place, this is proof of exactly what happened and exactly what the condition of that person was," said C. Denise Marcelle, who pushed the metro-council for funding of the cameras.
The video captured during an arrest is vital evidence for DWI cases and can sometimes be paramount for prosecutors when trying people charged in deadly drunk driving accidents.
Prosecutors in the case of Joseph Branch, convicted of vehicular homicide last week, used dash cam video to illustrate how drunk the man was to the jury.
"It paints exactly what happened," said Marcelle, "exactly how belligerent someone was, if they're drunk, they don't remember it a lot of times and so yes it does help the police in a lot of instances."
"We bring that to court, they're not only going to go off of our testimony, they can get a visual picture of what took place that night, while we were administering our test," said Cpl. L'Jean McKneely with the Baton Rouge Police Department.
A few of the cameras are already being installed as upgrades in some of the task force's units and the entire system should be in place in the next few weeks.