In June of 1966, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down the decision in the case of Schmerber v. California. The case involved a criminal conviction for driving an automobile while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. While at the hospital undergoing treatment for injuries resulting from the accident, the defendant was arrested by a police officer, and under the direction of the officer, a physician at the hospital drew a blood sample from the body of the defendant. The result of the blood analysis, which indicated that the petitioner was intoxicated, was admitted in evidence at the trial over the objection of the petitioner. The petitioner objected to the admission of the blood test on the following grounds: first, that he was denied due process of law under the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States; second, that his fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination had been violated; third, that his fourth amendment right not to be subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures had been violated; and fourth, that his right to counsel under the sixth amendment had, in effect, been ignored. The petitioner alleged that these rights, the latter three made applicable to the states through the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment, had been violated after his refusal, on the advice of counsel, to give his consent to the blood test. Not since 1956 in Breithaupt v. Abrams had the Supreme Court decided the constitutionality of the blood test, or the admissibility of the results of such a test into evidence.

I. Introduction

II. The Due Process Claim

III. The Fifth Amendment Claim … A. Where Has Schmerber Taken Us

IV. The Fourth Amendment Claim

V. The Right to Counsel Claim

VI. Conclusion