You were driving home from watching a game at the bar when your car ran out of gas.  An officer stopped to see if you needed help.  He smelled the alcohol,  and you ended up arrested for DUI after you took a few field sobriety tests. You are convinced that you aced all the tests, but you there is no video of the arrest.

What if the officer did not have a body cam or squad car video? Or due to technical problems, any video of your arrest was lost or unreadable.  If there is no video, can you still be found guilty of DUI?

The answer is yes.

Videos of arrests have only been available for about the last twenty years  in Illinois.  A few departments in the Chicago area have still declined to use body cameras or to install squad car video systems.  Even so, the officer’s testimony about how your drove and performed on the tests can be enough to convince a judge or jury that you were guilty.

That said, the absence of a video can make it harder for the state to prove you were guilty of all the elements of the DUI beyond a reasonable doubt.  An experienced trial attorney, particularly one who is familiar with the judge, can point out problems with an officer’s testimony in order to increase your chances of winning your case.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

About mdkeenan

A criminal and school law attorney with over 17 years of experience, I have successfully represented clients all over the Chicago area. My practice includes DUI, felony, criminal, misdemeanor, homicide, internet crime, retail theft, traffic offenses, cyberstalking, drug crimes, weapons violations, domestic battery and juvenile crime. I also represent families involving school cases. My clients come from all over the Chicago area including Skokie, Wilmette, Niles, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Winnetka, Highland park, Northfield, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. I am a member of the ACLU and the Illinois State Bar Association. I serve as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid. Se habla espanol.
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