Readers may know that voluntariness can be an important issue in drunk-driving cases, particularly when it comes to administration of breath, blood and saliva samples. When officers perform testing without the required consent of a suspect, the issue can come up at trial. Voluntariness is also one of the issues at play in a national survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The survey, which has been conducted five times since 1973, takes place in 60 different cities nationwide. Motorists are singled out on a random basis for questioning about drinking and driving habits. They are also asked to take a roadside breath tests, and are offered money for blood and saliva samples and for answering a more extensive survey.