Dashboard cameras in patrol cars are there to protect the officers as much as they are those who are pulled over by police. The footage from those cameras often ends up in court in both criminal and civil proceedings, depending on the circumstances. The videos can be compelling, but they may not tell the whole story. For instance, the “dash cam” of a Texas police officer shows an accident that ended in the arrest of a driver for DUI.
The officer had initiated a traffic stop. His dash cam was on and recording as he approached the vehicle. A second vehicle then slammed into his patrol car before hitting the officer and the car he pulled over. The camera shows the officer flying through the air.
It also shows him crawling and finally getting to his feet. He managed to call for help and take the driver of the second vehicle into custody. That driver is suspected of being impaired at the time of the crash. In addition to potential charges for driving under the influence, the driver may also face a charge of intoxicated assault for hitting the police officer. It is not yet known whether the occupants of the car that was pulled over suffered any injuries, which could also potentially increase the charges.
Despite the footage from the dash cam, the driver is guaranteed the right to the presumption of innocence unless and until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Texas prosecutors must prove the DUI in order to properly document a charge of intoxication assault. The driver and his criminal defense counsel will need to review all of the evidence, conduct their own investigation and come to a decision regarding how best to proceed in order to reach the best outcome possible to the charges.
Source: newschannel9.com, “Dramatic Video: Officer hit by drunk driver in Texas“, Gary Detman, Aug. 2, 2017