Being pulled over by police can be a frightening situation. Finding out that you are suspected of driving drunk can be even more nerve-wracking.

Refusing to take a field sobriety test can lead to the suspension of your license. However, it is the responsibility of police officers to follow correct procedure when administering a sobriety test. If a test is performed improperly, it can affect the results, and people who are sober could be arrested for a DUI or DWI. In Dallas, Texas, police officers are under scrutiny for video tapes that have shown improper behavior in the field.

Due to recent claims that police have violated policy during DUI and other stops, a review board has been created to study police videos for signs of improper job performance.

Recently, Dallas officers were caught on tape beating a person and could face criminal charges because of it. Several other stops, including one for DWI, were caught on camera showing what some say is police misconduct.

In one case, a Dallas father says he was the victim of a violation of procedure when he was stopped for a DWI. The man says he told police he had not been drinking and even performed a field sobriety test. He says, however, that the video of his stop clearly shows the sobriety test being unfairly administered on a slope.

The Dallas man was arrested for DWI and taken to jail for hours even though he was sober. He expected an apology from police but never got one. Police officials maintain that proper procedures were followed.

In another case, an officer was seen yelling at an NFL player who was on his way to the hospital to be with his dying mother-in-law.

A former prosecutor says the newly formed review team could be a good thing for the police force. It could help commanders keep an eye on their officers and make sure they are doing their jobs correctly, he says. The former prosecutor also says that in the future the tapes, which do not currently include sound, should be set to capture audio as well video.

Officials say they hope that by reviewing these videos, bad officers will be caught, but also that those officers who did not violate procedure will be cleared of any accusations that claim otherwise.


KDAF-TV Dallas: "Dallas Police to Review Dash Cam Videos," Dawn Tongish, 23 Feb. 2011