California to Stop Towing Cars of Unlicensed Drivers

A new law in California will prevent police from towing cars of drivers who don't have a license.

A new law in California will prevent police from towing cars of drivers who don't have a license.

We’ve recently written a couple of resources on driver checkpoints set up by police and other law enforcement authorities. For the most part, police set up roadblocks and checkpoints simply to look for those who are driving under the influence of alcohol.

First, we looked at why police publish the exact locations and times they’ll be conducting such checkpoints. It does seem a bit counter-productive, but as we said at the time, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) demanded that police do so as part of their ruling on Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz.

In our second piece on the subject, we delved into the other things police are looking for besides drunk drivers. As we said then, they’re focused on: driving without a license, uninsured drivers, those with warrants for their arrest, failure to wear seat belts and any other crimes or violations they spot.

Driving without a license may not seem like a serious crime, and thanks to a new law in California, as of January 1, 2012, police will no longer be able to tow and impound cars where the only offense is driving without a license.

In the past, thousands of cars were towed in any given year in California for just that. Pundits claim the impounding of cars of those without a drivers license are aimed directly at, and unfairly target illegal immigrants. Only New Mexico, Utah and Washington issue drivers licenses to illegal aliens. The other 47 states won’t issue drivers licenses to those who’ve entered the United States without documentation.

What do you think? Should police be able to tow and impound cars for failure to have a drivers license? Or is the new law the right call?


About Cecil Helton

Cecil Helton Cecil Helton is a U.S.-based writer and editor with passions for cars, motorcycles, boats, technology and social media. Much of his professional life since 1996 has been web-centric, and he’s written and developed content on a variety of subjects. His work in the houseboat industry received wide acclaim, such as winning the 1999 Cisco Systems Growing with Technology award and being named one of five finalists in the manufacturing sector of the 2000 Computerworld-Smithsonian Awards. As an Air Force brat, he spent much of his childhood in a two-year cycle of moving to a new place, making new friends, establishing a life, and then moving again. Destinations included: Kentucky, Illinois, Texas, the Greek isle of Crete, California and Ohio. Today you’ll find Cecil coping with his 15 year old son’s decision to pursue a motorcycle license at the same time he gets his driver’s license, being active across the web on multiple social media sites, and of course, writing articles and creating content on automotive and car insurance related topics right here at CarInsurance.org.


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