Police in New Jersey will have to explain the state’s implied consent law to DWI suspects in a language the drivers understand.
Police in New Jersey will have to explain the state’s implied consent law to DWI suspects in a language the drivers understand. The state Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a Spanish-speaking man who did not understand a police officer telling him he had to take a breathalizer test.
Police will have to make some procedural changes because of the ruling.
They can use computers in police cars to bring up a web page with translations of the official instructions. Officers have to inform suspects they can lose their license for refusing to submit to a breath test.
New Jersey State Troopers Fraternal Organization President David Jones says that will be a burden for law enforcement officers.
“Suppose you put up a thing and it says Chinese. You know how many dialects there are in Chinese? Is it Mandarin? Is it something else? Suppose you put up something that’s Farsi and it’s one of these three, four, five dozen different dialects. I mean it’s just too complicated.”
Jones says the amount of time police will have to spend to deal with the translations will be frustrating and demoralizing.