California Highway Patrol vehicles are equipped with mobile video and audio recording systems commonly referred to as MVARS. The recording system is automatically activated when the CHP begin an enforcement stop. In the context of a DUI stop, the recording is very important evidence in the case. DUI defense attorneys are not automatically provided with a copy of the MVARS DVD. It has to be requested by following the usual rules of informal discovery. Or it can be obtained by way of a DMV subpoena to the CHP.
The MVARS recording may contradict the contents of the arresting officers report and lead to a successful resolution of the case. The recording typically shows the suspect's driving prior to the stop, his or her performance of field sobriety tests and any conversation during transportation back to the police station following arrest. CHP officers often follow a formula in preparing their report and the information contained in the report is often inaccurate or a very one sided and biased version of reality. In the absence of a recording of the incident, the police report tends to be the accepted account of the events. However, the MVARS recording may directly contradict the officer's written report. For example, it may show a perfectly normal driving pattern, or good performance of field sobriety tests or a lack of slurred speech or perfectly good balance, directly contradicting the officers narrative in his arrest report.
If you have been arrested for a DUI by the CHP in Los Angeles or Orange County, you should make sure that you obtain a copy of the MVARS DVD before pleading guilty to a DUI. The MVARS tape may be substantially helpful in securing a dismissal of DUI charges.
If you have any questions concerning DUI defense in California, please call Los Angeles DUI defense lawyers Gold & Witham for a free consultation.