Our South Florida traffic attorneys read a recent article in the New York Times about unlicensed driver who have had their cars seized by police at sobriety checkpoints. This is fast becoming a trend, particularly in some areas that need the extra revenue from the impounded vehicles. In fact, police are often more likely to seize a car than to catch a drunk driver.
According to a study by the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkley, impoundments at checkpoints in California brought in an estimated $40 million in police fines and towing fees statewide. Most cities split the revenue with towing companies. The checkpoints do catch some drunk drivers, but in some cases police are pulling over sober motorists and seizing vehicles from unlicensed drivers, often illegal immigrants. Some of these impounded vehicles are then sold at lien sales if they go unclaimed.
While officials say that demographics are not a factor in determining where police set up checkpoints, records indicate that cities with a large Hispanic population are impounding cars at three times the rate of other cities with a smaller minority presence.
Source: Sobriety Checkpoints Catch Unlicensed Drivers, New York Times, February 13, 2010
Our South Florida law firm represents the sober and undocumented. Contact us for a free initial case evaluation.