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NEW YORK DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED: OFFICER DOES NOT HAVE TO READ MOTORIST HIS OR HER MIRANDA RIGHTS PRIOR TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS

Many times those charged with a New York Driving While Intoxicated charge will complain that they never were read their rights. When one must be read their “rights” is beyond the scope of this blog. However, for purposes of Field Sobriety Tests, the issue addressed in this blog is whether one must be read their “rights”, or what are commonly known as “Miranda Warnings”, prior to being asked to perform Field Sobriety Tests.
The answer is no. In People v. Hager, the New York Court of Appeals held that the police do not have to give a DWI suspect his or her Miranda Warnings prior to the administration of Field Sobriety Tests. 69 N.Y.2d 141, 512 N.Y.S.2d 794 (1987). In rendering its decision, the Court noted that the privilege against self incrimination prevents the state from compelling a person to provide testimonial or communicative evidence. In 1999, the Court of Appeals reaffirmed this holding in People v. Berg 92 N.Y.2d 701, 685 N.Y.S.2d 906 (1999) again holding that Miranda warnings are not required to allow Field Sobriety Tests into evidence.
So therefore, the police do not have to inform a motorist of his or her right to refuse to perform Field Sobriety Tests (People v. Sheridan, 192 A.D.2d 1057, 596 N.Y.S.2d 245 (4th Dept. 1993)) nor do they have to read them their Miranda Warnings prior to requesting they perform the tests.
If you have any questions regarding Driving While Intoxicated or if you have been charged with DWI in New York, please call Tilem & Campbell toll free at 1-888-DWI-COUNSEL or visit us on the web at www.888DWICOUNSEL.com.