Judge Rules That Seizure of Drunk Drivers’ Car is Unconstitutional
Our Miami DUI defense attorneys have been following a news story out of Illinois. A judge ruled that the state law aimed at penalizing repeat DUI offenders by giving police the authority to seize their vehicles is unconstitutional. The judge ruled that the statute gives the state too broad an authority, saying the law violates the due process clauses protected in both state and federal constitutions.
The ruling came out of a case involving three men who claimed the law did not allow defendants to petition a judge for return of their vehicles until their drunk driving case was resolved. Seized vehicles are periodically auctioned off or assigned to local law enforcement officers for their use.
Anti-drunk driving groups say the damages imposed on the vehicle’s co-owners or family members are far less than the greater public good. The county’s attorney apparently hopes to appeal the ruling to the state’s Supreme Court.
Source: Illinois Judge Rules Seizure of Drunk Drivers’ Vehicles is Unconstitutional, DUI.com, November 25, 2009
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