Across the nation, more and more DUI cases are being defended as a serious breach in the right of individuals against unreasonable searches and seizures. This is mostly in reference to the use of field sobriety tests particularly alcohol breath analyzer devices which, according to some experts, cannot be relied on to provide the most accurate determination of actual blood alcohol concentration levels.
You should know that certain jurisdictions are now looking closely into the allegations that DUI checks grossly undermines the guarantees of the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. Under the Constitution, there are 2 essential elements that need to be fulfilled in performing legal searches – warrant and probable cause. And while there is probable cause for stopping you on suspicion of driving while under the influence of an intoxicating substance or a perception altering substance, the lack of a necessary warrant makes the whole activity unconstitutional.
The use of breath tests in determining DUI culpability is deemed unconstitutional if you are going to look at the Fourth Amendment simply because of the absence of the second element which is the warrant. The Constitution also says that the search warrant must specifically describe the place that will be the subject of the search as well as the individuals or items to be seized. If these elements are absent, then there is the whole question about the constitutionality of such DUI searches.
In some states, they have a search-incident-to-arrest clause whereby the second element of the Fourth Amendment clause is recognizably struck out. Some states also have a charge for refusal to submit to chemical testing on top of the DUI charge. In such instances, individuals facing possible DUI charges are often left at a quandary simply because there simply is no other option. If they refuse to get an alcohol breath test, they can be charged for refusal to submit to testing. If they do undergo testing, they only incriminate themselves. The latter is tantamount to a breech in the Fifth Amendment.
The Constitution’s Fifth Amendment guarantees individual rights to self-incrimination. By agreeing to perform the chemical test for blood alcohol concentration, you are effectively incriminating yourself to the charge. You can learn more about DUI and your constitutional rights Here.
As far as the US Constitution is concerned, DUI searches, especially the use of chemical tests to ascertain BAC levels, and being put in a situation where you can incriminate yourself are unconstitutional and hence, illegal. AGHA Anaheim has had extensive experience with such cases that it has become very adept at fighting for the Constitutional rights of DUI clients.