As long as I have been practicing criminal law I have been watching DWI videos. As a prosecutor in East Texas DWI videos were on VHS tapes. This was very inconvenient for trial. I had to write down the time stamp for each scene I wanted, while noting all any objectionable material (defendant’s criminal history blaring over the police radio) etc. I spent time at trial awkwardly fast forwarding, reversing, pausing etc. Very cumbersome, those old VHS tapes.
In Kaufman County DWI videos are on DVD. Not a great technological leap forward from VHS. A DVD has a better picture, and is more convenient to browse. However, a DVD offers no more information than a VHS tape.
Today I received a DWI DVD from the Kaufman District Attorney. It was an incar video from the Terrell Police. It looked like all the other DWI DVDs I usually receive. However, when I loaded the disc into my work computer a new program opened up. I usually watch DVDs on Power DVD. This disc opened up in AVD Viewer, a program by L3 Communications.
AVD viewer is a real leap forward. For starters it has a panel of “triggers” that tell you when the police are hitting the brakes in the car, or when the emergency lights are on, inter alia. AVD also allow me to choose which microphone to listen in on. For example- I could listen to the in car mic, or the officer’s personal microphone. It also allows the user to pick between different police car views.
The disc also includes a chain of custody page where I can see who logged the video into evidence. My only gripe is that the program seems a little buggy. It will freeze up on me more than I like. As a DWI defense lawyer I prefer even a buggy DVD that contains more information. Overeall AVD is not a Star Trek leap forward in technology, but a good start.