Can You Cite Language Barrier As An Excuse for Refusing to Submit to a DUI Test ?
Can a Licensee Cite Language Barrier as an Excuse for Refusing to Submit to Chemical Testing if there is No Indication of Not Comprehending the Language ?
In Balthazar v. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing, 123 Pa. Commw. 435, 553 A.2d 1053 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1989), for example, the licensee's testimony before the trial court consisted of approximately seven pages of transcript without the assistance of interpreters, and there was never any indication in that the licensee had any difficulty comprehending the questions addressed to him.
The licensee in that case also responded to officers at the traffic stop in English and even used foul language in English directed toward the officers.
Similarly, in Im v. Commonwealth Department of Transportation, 108 Pa. Commw. 206, 529 A.2d 94 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1987), a motorist failed to show that he was unable to make a knowing and conscious refusal based on a language barrier simply because he did not understand the warnings.
The licensee responded to questions in court, unassisted by an interpreter.
He also spoke to the arresting officer several times without any problems.
In both cases, we held that the language barrier presented in those cases did not prevent the licensees from making knowing and conscious refusals to submit to chemical testing.