NO ENTIENDO: STATE V. MARQUEZ, LANGUAGE BARRIERS, AND DRUNK DRIVING

Author: 

Andrew Dodemaide

In State v. Marquez, the New Jersey Supreme Court had to decide the question of what police officers must do when trying to communicate with a drunk driving suspect who does not speak English or any other common language. Although suspected drunk drivers are obliged by law to submit to a breath test, police officers cannot issue a citation for refusal unless they “inform” the suspect of the associated penalties. Thus, when suspects do not speak English, police officers are faced with a difficult problem: what does it mean to "inform" the suspect? View More