Do Most People Feel Obligated to Comply With a Request From Law Enforcement?
A question is if an individual can refuse to incriminate him or herself, why do they choose to do something which may or may not incriminate them? In my experience as an attorney, people tell me that they thought that they were required to do that so they want to be compliant with the request of a member of law enforcement. This tells me that they do not understand their constitutional rights. A lot of people perform the tests because they think they are supposed to do it. I’ve had people tell me anytime a police officer asks you to do something you had to do it. I think that’s probably the biggest reason.
Interviewer: Do you think there’s an intimidation factor sometimes on part by the police officer?
Steve Tomeo: I think that a police officer can be an intimidating presence, but law enforcement and the judiciary do not seem to think of it that way. I’m sure that people are afraid. They are pulled over and they are in an encounter with a person in a uniform. Generally, they are individuals who are pretty smart at what they do, and when they come up to you, you feel somewhat afraid and I think a lot of people just want to comply. I think a large number of people say, “Well, I do not have anything to hide. I didn’t kill anybody. Let me do this.”