Before Testing in DUI Investigations

Right to DUI Lawyer 

Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyers often explain that unlike blood tests, there are no statutory provisions regulating the administration of field sobriety exercises and extending greater protection than provided by the State and Federal Constitutions. Thus, it is necessary to look solely to constitutional principles to identify any restrictions on the administration of field sobriety exercises.

The Fifth Amendment protection from compelled self-incrimination and the Fourth Amendment restrictions on unlawful interference with privacy interests are the source of the applicable principles.The Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination does not apply to most field sobriety exercises. Broward County DUI lawyers caution that in Schmerber v California, a DUI case, the Court observed that it is widely accepted that the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, offers no protection against compulsion to submit to fingerprinting, photographing, or measurements, to write or speak for identification, to appear in court, to stand, to assume a stance, to walk, or to make a particular gesture. The distinction which has emerged, often expressed in different ways, is that the privilege is a bar against compelling “communications” or “testimony,” but that compulsion which makes a suspect or accused the source of “real or physical evidence” does not violate it. Most field sobriety exercises fall into the category of physical evidence recognized in Schmerber.

Usually, officers are gathering physical evidence. These exercises provide officers the opportunity to observe how a suspect speaks and moves without concern for what the suspect says. Thus, there is no Fifth Amendment bar to requiring the suspect to submit to such tests. If you have questions about your rights as they pertain to field sobriety exercises in Broward County, Florida, contact a reputable DUI lawyer.