Where do you see DWI checkpoints on Long Island and in New York?
I see them a lot now on Long Island: in the Hamptons, Southampton, East Hampton, Westhampton, Hampton Bays and Northampton. I see them in Quogue, Huntington, and all over Suffolk County. In Nassau County, they are in the Glen Cove area.
People should just be aware as it is summertime. You can’t pick up a newspaper without seeing something about DWI. You can’t pick up a newspaper without seeing some about boating while intoxicated. This makes good media headlines for the government. However, there are several boating while intoxicated cases that we were successful defending.
What is the app for Android and Iphone that tapes encounters with the police?
It is called Police Tape. It is created by the ACLU in New Jersey. It is legal and it is for smart phones. I downloaded it onto my smart phone. I encourage people, if they have an encounter with police, to use it anytime.
Why should police be the only ones with video? People should protect themselves. Unfortunately, we live in a time and age where we need to protect ourselves from the government to a certain extent. If you can, certainly I would encourage you to report any content to the police.
Are they subject to criminal penalties for taping encounters with the police?
The police are not going to want you to do it. So I wouldn’t necessarily shine it in his face. Discreetly turn it on and leave it on the seat of your car. Police Tape records audio and visual. Download and experiment to see how it works best.
If you have nothing to hide, then there’s no reason not to protect yourself and make a record of what happened. The police officer’s word is not supposed to be worth any more than your’s. The reality is people tend to believe police officers more than they believe us . It’s nice sometimes if the police officer is not being 100% truthful or candid. Show you were in better condition than he says. Show you didn’t sound the condition they say.
Are there in-car police cameras in New York?
Some have in-car police cameras. Some sheriff’s cars in Suffolk County have videos. The local police in Quogue have in-car police cameras. However, the majority do not.
It’s unfortunate to defend cases for people who tell me their side of the story. However, they do not have video to show: their driving was not bad, their demeanor was not agitated; and they were able to perform tests. It’s a shame.
In some police precincts and police headquarters in Nassau County, they do have a video camera that will record a refusal of a breath test. Some record the taking of field sobriety tests and the breath test. They’ll record consent to taking a breath test and actually taking a breath test. Submitting to physical maneuvers is recorded as well. It is usually helpful to us to have that on video.
Is it better for you to be on camera? Does it help your defense?
It does help even if you voluntarily consent to taking it. The majority of time we prefer people do not consent to taking the tests. However, if the the video is taken with a person standing, we can see the person is not swaying. You can hear their speech .
You can see they understand the question being posed to them. They are communicating. It is not the intoxicated person that the jury and judge is led to believe is a babbling baboon. Instead, it’s a person just speaking; and they look sober.