New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law a bill that will require police patrol cars to be equipped with in-car cameras.
The legislation calls for all municipal police departments in New Jersey to equip patrol vehicles with video cameras or, alternatively, to equip patrol officers with body cameras.
Proponents of the law hope that courts will be able to use the footage by the cameras to arrive at the right decisions in drunk driving cases and traffic cases.
The NJ State Assembly and the NJ State Senate first passed the law during the most recent legislation session; however, the bill was pocket-vetoed by Governor Christie when he chose not to respond to the bill after it arrived on his desk.
New Jersey State Assemblyman Paul Moriarty responded to Christie’s pocket veto by reintroducing the bill. Moriarty’s support for the law stems from his own personal experience. When Moriarty was arrested on suspicion of DWI in 2012, he used video footage from a patrol car dashboard camera to get the charges dismissed.
Moriarty has spoken out in support of the legislation and noted that video footage can be used not just to bolster claims of police abuse, but also to prove that police officers did not abuse suspects or violate their rights.
According to state authorities, a $25 surcharge on all DWI convictions will be used to pay for the video equipment and installation in police patrol vehicles.
To learn more, read the NJ.com article entitled “Assemblyman Paul Moriarty’s Police Camera Bill, Inspired by DWI False Arrest, Signed into Law.”
If you are facing DWI or DUI charges in New Jersey, contact Morristown NJ criminal defense attorney Travis J. Tormey for a free consultation about your case.