Florida Senate - 2016                                     SB 740
       By Senator Soto
       14-00411-16                                            2016740__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to persons who are deaf; creating s.
    3         320.0849, F.S.; requiring the Department of Highway
    4         Safety and Motor Vehicles to create a form that an
    5         individual must complete for an identification card
    6         and a placard that indicate the individual is deaf;
    7         requiring the department to issue such card and
    8         placard under certain circumstances; requiring the
    9         department to design and develop such cards and
   10         placards; requiring the department to develop and
   11         adopt rules; amending s. 901.245, F.S.; requiring a
   12         law enforcement officer to seek the services of an
   13         interpreter before arresting or interrogating a deaf
   14         person for an alleged criminal violation; providing an
   15         exception in the case of an emergency; prohibiting a
   16         family member from being considered a qualified
   17         interpreter under certain circumstances; creating s.
   18         943.0322, F.S.; establishing a database of individuals
   19         who are deaf; requiring the Department of Highway
   20         Safety and Motor Vehicles to allow the Department of
   21         Law Enforcement access to approved forms; requiring
   22         the Department of Law Enforcement to include
   23         information from the forms in the database;
   24         authorizing a law enforcement officer to use the
   25         database before detaining or arresting certain
   26         individuals; creating s. 943.1723, F.S.; requiring the
   27         Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission to
   28         provide training for law enforcement officers to
   29         interact with the deaf; requiring a law enforcement
   30         agency to have at least one on-call officer who is
   31         trained in or knows American Sign Language or to
   32         contract with qualified interpreters; defining the
   33         term “law enforcement agency”; providing an effective
   34         date.
   36  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   38         Section 1. Section 320.0849, Florida Statutes, is created
   39  to read:
   40         320.0849Identification for the deaf.—
   41         (1) The department must create a form that an individual
   42  must complete to request an identification card and a placard
   43  that indicate the individual is deaf. The department must issue
   44  the card and the placard to the individual upon submission of
   45  sufficient proof that he or she is deaf, as determined by the
   46  department. The individual may present the identification card
   47  to a law enforcement officer at the beginning of any stop and
   48  may place the placard on the inside of the sun visor of a motor
   49  vehicle, to be available to present to a law enforcement
   50  officer.
   51         (2) The department shall design and develop the content of
   52  the identification card and placard and shall develop and adopt
   53  rules relating to the eligibility and application for, and the
   54  issuance and control of, the identification card and placard.
   55         Section 2. Section 901.245, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   56  read:
   57         901.245 Interpreter services for deaf persons.—
   58         (1)A law enforcement officer must seek In the event that a
   59  person who is deaf is arrested and taken into custody for an
   60  alleged violation of a criminal law of this state, the services
   61  of a qualified interpreter before arresting or shall be sought
   62  prior to interrogating a such deaf person who is suspected of
   63  violating a criminal law in this state, except as provided in
   64  subsection (2).
   65         (2)In the case of an emergency when public safety is at
   66  risk, a law enforcement officer may arrest a deaf person who is
   67  suspected of an alleged violation of a criminal law of this
   68  state, but a qualified interpreter must be provided for the
   69  suspect as soon as possible. If the services of a qualified
   70  interpreter cannot be obtained and all reasonable efforts have
   71  been made to obtain such services, the arresting officer may
   72  interrogate or take a statement from the deaf such person if the
   73  provided such interrogation and the answers are thereto shall be
   74  in writing. The interrogation and the answers thereto shall be
   75  preserved and turned over to the court if the deaf in the event
   76  such person is tried for the alleged offense.
   77         (3) A family member may not be deemed to be a qualified
   78  interpreter under this section if the deaf person objects to his
   79  or her involvement or use as an interpreter.
   80         Section 3. Section 943.0322, Florida Statutes, is created
   81  to read:
   82         943.0322Database of deaf persons.—The department shall
   83  establish a secure database to collect information that may
   84  assist a law enforcement officer in identifying individuals who
   85  are deaf. In order to collect information for the database, the
   86  Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles must allow the
   87  department access to the approved forms for an identification
   88  card and a placard that indicate the individual is deaf under s.
   89  320.0849. The department must include the information received
   90  from the forms in the database. A law enforcement officer may
   91  use the database before he or she attempts to detain or arrest
   92  an individual who is suspected of violating a criminal law in
   93  this state.
   94         Section 4. Section 943.1723, Florida Statutes, is created
   95  to read:
   96         943.1723 Basic skills training for interacting with the
   97  deaf.—
   98         (1) The commission shall establish standards for the
   99  training of law enforcement officers in interacting with the
  100  deaf.
  101         (2) Each law enforcement agency shall:
  102         (a) Maintain at least one officer on call who is trained in
  103  or knows American Sign Language; or
  104         (b) Contract with qualified interpreters, as provided under
  105  s. 90.6063, who will be on call and available to the law
  106  enforcement agency.
  107         (3) As used in this section, the term “law enforcement
  108  agency” means a lawfully established state or local public
  109  agency whose primary responsibility is the prevention and
  110  detection of crime or the enforcement of the penal, traffic, or
  111  highway laws of this state and whose agents and officers are
  112  empowered by law to conduct criminal investigations and to make
  113  arrests.
  114         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.