Missouri academic official caught on drunk driving dash cam

Although police officials and drivers alike may have different views about dash cams, one thing is clear: The technology is making an impact in criminal defense trials, such as the recent arrest of a college president for driving under the influence.

The academic official works for West Shore Community College, a community college in the Michigan town of Scottville. According to reports, police stopped the man’s car in a grocery store parking lot, alerted to the possibility of drunk driving by calls. The video taken by the dash cam also shows the man’s car hitting a curb.

During their initial conversation with the man, police inquired whether he had been drinking. The man claimed that he might have been having a reaction to prescription medication. However, police apparently felt they had enough behavioral indicators to require the man to perform a field sobriety test.

Unfortunately, the dash cam created footage that might be very prejudicial to a jury in a criminal defense trial. The video shows the man fumbling through the test, which required him to recite the alphabet while holding his hands behind his back. Officials then requested that the man submit to a breath test, which the man reportedly refused. However, a blood test may have been performed after the man was taken into custody, as officials later claimed that his blood alcohol content was 0.186.

In the eyes of a criminal defense attorney that focuses on DUI defense, the man in this story should have utilized his right to contact an attorney after being arrested. After being arrested, a suspect has the right to not answer questions until his or her attorney is present.

Source: MLive, " Dash cam video: Watch community college president's drunken driving arrest, sobriety tests," Angie Jackson, Aug. 20, 2014