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The cat-and-mouse game ends Jan. 1 when a new law takes effect in California to prohibit police from impounding cars at sobriety checkpoints if a motorist's only offense is being an unlicensed driver. Thousands of cars are towed each year in the state under those circumstances, hitting pocketbooks of illegal immigrants especially hard.
Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, a Los Angeles Democrat who tried unsuccessfully to restore driver licenses to illegal immigrants after California revoked the privilege in 1993, said he introduced the bill to ban towing after learning the notoriously corrupt city of Bell raked in big fees from unlicensed drivers at checkpoints.
Police also ask for drivers' licenses at the sobriety checkpoints. Supporters of the vehicle impounds say unlicensed drivers are also a roadside hazard and that the new law is misguided.
The Mexico native had reason to be alarmed: He does not have a driver's license because he is in the United States illegally, and it would cost about $1,400 to get his Nissan Frontier pickup back from the towing company. He has breathed a little easier since he began getting blast text messages two years ago from activists who scour streets to find checkpoints as they are being set up.
Originally posted by Manhater
Well, it's pretty much tying up the courts.
This sounds more like the judges are fed up.
Originally posted by muse7
Leave it to ICE to deal with illegals. If you get caught driving without a license then you deserve a big fat ticket but I don't think you should get your car towed.
Originally posted by Manhater
reply to post by guohua
Well some drivers might challenge having their car taken away. I'm pretty sure, they get a court ticket and an impound ticket. They have to pay the impound fees somehow. I've never had anything impounded before, so, I don't know how California does it. I'm just guessing. They have to show up for court for driving without a license??? Right?? Where's that ticket?edit on 25-12-2011 by Manhater because: (no reason given)
"The Right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, either by horse drawn carriage or by automobile, is not a mere privilege which a city can prohibit or permit at will, but a common Right which he has under the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." - Thompson vs. Smith, 154 SE 579.
"The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.· - Miller v. U.S., 230 F 2d 486, 489.
The following brief has been used in at least three states as a legal brief to support a demand for dismissal of charges of "driving without a license." It is the argument that was the reason for charges being dropped, or for a "win" in court against the argument that free people can have their right to travel regulated by their servants.