Introduced by Senator Illuzzi of Essex-Orleans District
Subject: Motor vehicles; operation under the influence of alcohol or drugs; videotaping of offense
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to require law enforcement officers to record the apprehension, testing, and arrest or citation of any person suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Videotaping is not required if the equipment malfunctions or is unavailable, if the arrest or citation occurs under circumstances in which the patrol vehicle’s blue lights are not activated, or if exigent circumstances exist which would make videotaping the incident dangerous or impracticable. A criminal or civil proceeding may not be dismissed solely because of failure to make the videotape.
AN ACT RELATING TO VIDEOTAPING MOTOR VEHICLE STOPS OF DRIVERS SUSPECTED OF OPERATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 23 V.S.A. § 1203 is amended to read:
§ 1203. ADMINISTRATION OF TESTS; VIDEOTAPING OF OFFENSE;
RETENTION OF TEST AND VIDEOTAPE
* * *
(j)(1) A law enforcement officer operating a patrol vehicle equipped with video recording equipment shall videotape the apprehension, testing, and arrest or citation of any person who the officer believes is in violation of section 1201 of this title.
(2) Videotaping under this subsection shall:
(A) begin no later than activation of the patrol vehicle’s blue signal lights;
(B) include pursuit of the person’s vehicle, apprehension of the person, the person being informed that the videotaping is occurring, the person being advised of his or her rights under Miranda and under subsection 1202(d) of this title, and the entire sobriety testing procedure, including any breath tests administered to or refused by the person; and
(C) conclude after arrest or citation of the person for a violation of section 1201 of this title.
(3) A videotape made pursuant to this subsection may be offered into evidence in a criminal or civil proceeding.
(4) No videotape shall be required under this subsection if:
(A) the videotape equipment malfunctioned or was inoperable at the time of the incident, and reasonable efforts have been made to maintain the equipment in operable condition;
(B) videotaping equipment was unavailable at the time of the incident, and reasonable efforts have been made to make the equipment available;
(C) the arrest or citation occurred during a road block, traffic investigation, or other circumstance in which the patrol vehicle’s blue lights were not activated; or
(D) exigent circumstances existed which made videotaping the incident dangerous or impracticable.
(5) The state shall not be prejudiced because of failure to create the videotape required by this subsection.
(6) A videotape made of the alleged offense and subsequent processing may be erased or destroyed by the law enforcement agency no earlier than 90 days after final judgment, or, if no civil or criminal action is filed, no earlier than 90 days after the date the videotape was made.
copy of a videotape made of the alleged offense shall be provided to the
defendant within ten days after the defendant requests the copy and pays a
$15.00 fee for its reproduction. No fee shall be charged to a defendant whom
the court has determined to be indigent.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street