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Woman ticketed for not speaking English

October 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A traffic ticket in Dallas, Texas caused a stir of controversy with local residents.A woman was ticketed for being a non-English speaking driver.

Brenda Mondragon's 11-year-old daughter Vanessa missed the bus this month, so her grandmother Ernestina decided to drive her to school.

On the way, a police officer pulled the 49-year-old over and issued Ernestina Mondragon three tickets: one for not having her license with her; a second for making an illegal u-turn; and the third for being a non-English speaking driver.

"At first, I thought it was a joke," said Branda Mondragon. "I said I can't believe it. I actually laughed. I was like, oh my God mom, I have never seen this before. We moved from California two years ago so I thought maybe it's a law here."

It turns out it isn't a law, and that it was an officer in training who issued the citation.

There is a federal law requiring drivers to speak English when operating a commercial vehicle but not a private one.

The Dallas Police Department quickly apologized for the incident.

"We regret this happening, and although we believe it was a sincere mistake, there's no excuse for it," said Sgt. Warren Mitchell.

A court dismissed the citation, and the department said the officer will receive additional training.


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