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#1 2016-10-20 01:03:13

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,168
Website

Police to impound vehicles of drivers w/suspended licenses who crash

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#2 2016-10-20 08:15:06

Lynn
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 22

Re: Police to impound vehicles of drivers w/suspended licenses who crash

I've always thought it was a no-brainer. I'm actually a bit shocked to hear that they currently allow unlicensed drivers to, illegally because they are unlicensed, drive away. For the police to allow illegal activity to continue simply doesn't make sense.

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#3 2016-10-20 12:48:28

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,168
Website

Re: Police to impound vehicles of drivers w/suspended licenses who crash

I don't think the alternative was letting the unlicensed driver drive away.  I assume they either let a family member or friend come and get the vehicle, or else an officer drives it to the driver's home -- no more hassle than impounding it.

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#4 2016-10-20 16:24:10

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 549

Re: Police to impound vehicles of drivers w/suspended licenses who crash

What do I think?

Well, the civil libertarian in me thinks "How is that legal?  We deprive them of their property *before* they've been convicted of a crime?  How isn't that a violation of the due process clauses in the Constitution?"

(That said ... clearly they've found a way around that, because they've been impounding vehicles for decades.)

And the fellow road user in me goes ... "Good".

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#5 2016-10-20 23:37:18

AusTexMurf
Member
From: South Austin
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 439

Re: Police to impound vehicles of drivers w/suspended licenses who crash

As I frequently find, I am in agreement with Doug's thoughts on this. Both ideas bouncing around at the same time.

Went with fellow shared road user mindset and supporting the proposal, here.

VisionZeroATX obviously has a strong role in this proposal.

VZATX is committed to safer streets and freedom of mobility for all vulnerable people. Including the more responsible drivers and their passengers. They are victims of our society as well.

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#6 2016-10-23 16:06:34

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 192

Re: Police to impound vehicles of drivers w/suspended licenses who crash

Yeah, I had to think hard about this one.  I know that people convicted of drug offenses get screwed around for a long time over being able to drive.  I know someone who went to jail for forging prescriptions for pain killers.  This crime did not involve a vehicle, directly, anyways.  But, for years after her life was made harder by having to pay to get her license back.  I don't recall the details, but there were all kinds of barriers set up to being able to drive again.  This made it harder for her to get to work. She couldn't get a job since she was now a felon, and couldn't pay the fees because she didn't have a job.  Since she had served her time, sobered up, and even went on to become a drug abuse counselor, this seemed a bit harsh.

We need to make sure the punishments fit the crimes.  If a vehicle was a part of the crime it makes sense to impound it.  We need much harsher punishments for hit and run etc.   But, we have to be careful that we don't beat people so far down that they can't get up again - especially when they are ready to be functioning members of society.

Last edited by RedFalcon (2016-10-23 16:07:45)

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#7 2016-10-28 10:36:25

Darron
Member
Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 82

Re: Police to impound vehicles of drivers w/suspended licenses who crash

I'm with Doug on this one.  Property seizures without criminal convictions are easily exploited by any bureaucracy to be converted into a revenue stream.  I'd argue that if one was supportive of impounding vehicles of drivers with suspended licenses then they should also be in favor of more regulations around car ownership in general.  For example, should one be allowed to purchase a vehicle without a valid DL?

One also needs to consider what is the ultimate goal here, is it to enforce valid DLs?  I'm sure there are situations where plenty of people with valid DLs also crash.  We should start by asking what is the likelyhood of someone with a suspended DL is to crash vs someone a valid DL.  If there is no difference then impounding the car doesn't really make much sense and points more to a revenue stream explanation.

D

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