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. 35 36 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 37 38 Section 1. Section 320.0849, Florida Statutes, is created 39 to read: 40 320.0849 Identification 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 a59 person who is deaf is arrested and taken into custody for an60 alleged violation of a criminal law of this state,the services 61 of a qualified interpreter before arresting or shall be sought62 prior tointerrogating a suchdeaf 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 suchperson if the 73 provided suchinterrogation and the answers are thereto shall be74 in writing. The interrogation and the answers theretoshall be 75 preserved and turned over to the court if the deaf in the event76 suchperson 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: 82 943.0322 Database 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.