Police in-car video systems have been around for about 7 years. However, most police car do not have the ability to record video- – it varies from police department to police department. Further, within a police department some cars have it and some do not.
Under Illinois law all Illinois State Police cars have to have the ability to record both video and sound.
a police video recording devise is running, recording while the police car is running. It is capturing the images and storing them for about 1-3 minutes before discarding the images. Once a police officer turns on his emergency lights or flashing lights, the video stops discarding the images and save the video data from 1-3 minutes prior to the emergency lights being activated.
The police officer has a wireless microphone on his shirt, you most likely will not see it, but it is recording both his and your voices. It is permissible to record you without permission because you are in public.
The quality of the video greatly varies, but as a general rule, as the technology gets more advanced the video and audio is also getting better. However, many times the police office does not move his car in a position to capture the whole location of the stop or you performing the field sobriety tests.
As an Illinois DUI attorney for over 19 years and after watching hundreds of videos I would say that the video helps my clients as much as it hurts them. In other words, it either shows that my client clearly was not intoxicated or clearly was.
As part of representing my client, I obtain the video, (provided there is one) and watch it with the client- – pointing out things that help our case as well as hurt the case.