Actually, the protection against self-incrimination is a little broader thatn just spoken
As a former police officer and then US Marshal, I can tell you that in most states, if not every state, the officer first
must have probable cause to stop you. That is, he must be able to articulate a valid reason, one that any reasonable person would agree with, to stop you. I think most courts would not find simply coming out of a restaurant (as you suggest, LEO 299) would constitute probable cause. I don't say it never happens, but 99% of the time the courts will require something more: a swerving vehicle, staggering walk, slurred speech, the usual stuff.
The other side of the coin is that while protection against self-incrimination is a constitutional right, operating a motor vehicle is not
. So in most, perhaps all,states you have the right to refuse the breathalizer, the right to refuse to provide a blood sample, etc., but the state has the right to prevent you from driving if you don't meet their conditions.
Just happened here: twenty three
convictions for drunk driving, license had been suspended a couple of years ago, but just the other week the man was driving drunk, crossed the center line, killed the mother and one of the children, and put the father in a wheelchair for life.
What really bothers me is that there have been many, many, many instances of an individual who has a lengthy record of drunk driving convictions like that driver (convictions
, not just being stopped by an officer) yet they still keep on driving until they kill someone.
More than thirty years ago, because as a police officer, I had seen the terrible damage drunk drivers had done to innocent families, the deaths and carnage they had caused,I developed a proposal that US police copy the European system and randomly put up roadblocks and check each car for proper insurance, an equipment/safety check, driver's license, etc. We researched the civil rights aspect and determined that there was no civil right to driving: it was a privilege granted by the state. However, the proposal was shot down because the public would not have stood for it.
Now, after so many needless deaths, terrible injuries, etc., the public has become much more open to the idea.
Think of it this way: what if that person who is dearest to you were paralized for life by an impaired, uninsured, unlicensed driver, someone with no assets, so it would be pointless to sue them. What do you do? You can't afford round the clock caregivers. Do you quit your job to take carer of that loved one? And if that driver had a record of repeated drunk driving offenses, you'd be deeply angry that more hadn't been done to get drivers like that off the road, wouldn't you? How much of your "freedom" to drive would you have wished that you had given up to keep that accident from happening?
I'm all for our constitutional rights, I know acouple dozenways the government (at every level) has violated our rights. I've seen government documents that instructed government agents to ride roughshod over our rights, and I fear for my children and granchildren- but giving a suspected drunk driver a choice between consenting to a test and surrrendering their driver's license doesn't bother me very much.
Some things to think about....