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Disabled Combat Veteran, Au Pair Say Cops Cashing In with DUI Checkpoints

Strict impound regulations have drivers questioning law-enforcement motives — and actions

Theodore Disho, a disabled Iraq War combat veteran, had to pay fees and fines of nearly $1,000 to get his impounded car back. Although the UCSB senior had not been drinking, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies at a DUI checkpoint found that his driver’s license had expired a few days before he was stopped. As a result, officers seized Disho’s car in what he thinks is “another way they can generate revenue for the state.”

Theodore Disho, a disabled Iraq War combat veteran, had to pay fees and fines of nearly $1,000 to get his impounded car back. Although the UCSB senior had not been drinking, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies at a DUI checkpoint found that his driver’s license had expired a few days before he was stopped. As a result, officers seized Disho’s car in what he thinks is “another way they can generate revenue for the state.”  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

By Alex Kacik, Noozhawk Intern | updated logo |

[Noozhawk’s note: An earlier version of this story reported that the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department receives the $150 administrative fee and part of the towing fees for impounded vehicles. In fact, it is Santa Barbara County that receives part of the towing fees, not the Sheriff’s Department. The story has been corrected.]

At first glance, an Iraq War veteran and a Montecito au pair might seem to have little in common. What they share, however, are recent experiences with DUI checkpoint impounds that paint a less-than-flattering picture of the increasingly common law-enforcement tactic.

Theodore Disho served five tours of duty in Iraq as an Air Force transport specialist supporting the Army’s 1st and 3rd Infantry divisions. During his stint, from 2002 to 2006, he was a volunteer for three of the six-month tours, replacing airmen with spouses and children. But an attack in Baghdad abruptly ended his military career and left him with severe injuries.

Now a political science senior at UCSB, Disho was driving to a friend’s house about a month ago when he was stopped at a DUI checkpoint on Los Carneros Road. Although the disabled combat veteran had not been drinking, his driver’s license had expired on his 27th birthday several days earlier. As a result, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies impounded his car and had it towed.

While the deputy treated him with respect and gave him a ride home, Disho said the officer had a mindset of “We’re taking your vehicle and there’s nothing you can do.”

To get his car back, Disho had to pay fees and fines of nearly $1,000 — half of his monthly pension, he said.

“It’s a bummer for me because that’s the money I was saving for textbooks,” said Disho, who has been eating a lot of cereal to reduce his living expenses.

“I took 500 bucks out of my savings just to pay for the impound fees.”

Meanwhile, Natalia Auza Sierra, 20, had been living in Santa Barbara for nearly a year, working as an au pair for a Montecito family. To celebrate her last day in the United States, the Mexican citizen and some friends decided to go to Freebirds in Isla Vista for a late-night snack. A burrito from the well-known hangout typically costs $6. Little did she know that the meal would end up running her about $600.

As Auza Sierra drove her friends to Isla Vista in her employer’s car, they noticed a DUI checkpoint on the way.

“It was funny because my friends and I were actually talking about how we thought it was great that they did that, because there are so many drunken drivers who come from I.V.,” Auza Sierra told Noozhawk via e-mail from her home in Tijuana. 

That checkpoint would soon change her perception of U.S. law enforcement, however, after what she said was a “traumatizing” experience she will never forget.

“I wasn’t drinking, I’ve never gotten a ticket before, I wasn’t speeding, I wasn’t using a fake license or driving with no license at all,” Auza Sierra said.

She added that “extortion” like what she says she experienced has never happened to her, even in her hometown, where corruption allegations are commonplace.

“But it did surprise me,” she said. “It’s a way for young people to realize that these things happen, and that we don’t live in a perfect little world, especially in a place like Santa Barbara.”

On their way back, the young adults were stopped by sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Farmer, who asked them if they had been drinking, or had any alcohol in the car.

“No,” replied Auza Sierra, who explained the situation while handing Farmer her driver’s license and the paperwork for the car, which belonged to her employer, Rick Marcellin.

To her surprise, the license she had obtained in January was expired. Auza Sierra’s visa extended through December, but her license did not.

“It was my last night, the last two weeks before this had been super busy,” she said. “You see, in Mexico, we write the date the other way around. So, 08.10.2010 for you would be Aug. 10, but for us it would be Oct. 8.

“But I assume full responsibility for driving with an expired license,” she added.

Although the passengers all said they could drive the car home, the deputy denied their request, said Laura Bischofs, a Westmont College senior Spanish major and one of Auza Sierra’s companions.

“He just seemed like the kind of person who likes to take advantage of his power, or maybe he was just in a bad mood that day,” Auza Sierra said.

What allegedly happened next added a further twist to the encounter.

Auza Sierra called Marcellin, who explained to the deputy that the situation was all a mistake. He told Farmer that he would grant permission to any of Auza Sierra’s companions to drive his car home.

“This is where he disgraces himself, his uniform and his department,” Marcellin said of the short phone conversation.

“It’s too late, it’s already on the (tow) truck,” Marcellin said Farmer told him while Auza Sierra’s friends remained in the vehicle.

Inken Keller was one of the passengers.

“She (Auza Sierra) gave the cell to the officer and the officer told Rick that the car was on the tow truck, but we were still all sitting in the car,” Keller said.

Bischofs said the tow truck was more than a block away during the conversation. When the tow truck did arrive, she added, the driver began telling Farmer how good his commission had been that night, with six vehicles towed.

“It made me distrust police and made me think they were out to make money,” Bischofs said.

Reached by Noozhawk, Farmer declined to comment for this story, instead referring a reporter to Sheriff’s Department spokesman Drew Sugars.

Sheriff’s Department officials said “on the (tow) truck” could refer to several scenarios. The tow truck could be on its way to the scene or in the process of towing the vehicle, they said.

Still, Auza Sierra and Marcellin say they plan to file a formal complaint with the Sheriff’s Department.

“If you’re going to throw the book at someone, you better not be lying,” Marcellin said.

When Marcellin went to Bob Holzer Towing & Storage to retrieve his car, he ran into Disho. The two men struck up a conversation while waiting for assistance and Marcellin says he was surprised to learn that Disho had a similar story.

Disho told Noozhawk that he had asked sheriff’s officials for a copy of the regulations under which his car was impounded, but they denied his request, saying the information is considered “confidential.” He said he found the response to be strange because, in the military, virtually anything funded with taxpayer money — from instruction guides to field manuals to various regulations — is available to the public.

“There is no transparency,” he said of the DUI checkpoints. “There is a lot of room for discretion and officers can get away with things. How do you interact with an agency that refuses to disclose the rules?”

State law requires law-enforcement officers to impound the vehicles of unlicensed drivers or people who have had their licenses revoked; the vehicles may sit in storage for 30 days. Administrative, storage, citation and other fees can amount to as much as $2,000.

Officials say the Sheriff’s Department receives the $150 administrative fee, while the county receives a cut of the towing fees. The Santa Barbara Police Department has a similar arrangement.

According to this year’s Sheriff’s Department Towed Vehicle Report, 979 vehicles had been towed through Aug. 31, compared to 506 at the same point in 2009. Between September and December last year, 562 vehicles were towed. The majority of the drivers were charged with driving with a suspended license or without a license at all.

Sugars said there has not been a drastic change in the number of vehicles towed and that impounding quotas do not exist. But if there are more DUI checkpoints, he said, there may be more cars impounded.

Deputies stationed at checkpoints receive overtime pay through the California Office of Traffic Safety, which is funded by the federal government, according to a report by the California Watch and UC Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program. Overtime pay accounts for more than 90 percent of checkpoints’ expense, the report concluded. More checkpoints mean extra pay and more vehicles towed.

Westmont senior Joel Phillips, another of Auza Sierra’s companions, said there were about eight sheriff’s deputies at the DUI checkpoint.

“There were police drinking coffee, just sitting around,” the graphic design major said. “Another gentleman was pulled over, and was obviously intoxicated. One cop performed a sobriety test and another cop just seemed to be enjoying the spectacle.

“He wasn’t helping, he was cracking jokes and having a good time; it seemed pointless and unprofessional,” Phillips said. “I’m glad drunken drivers are off the road but it didn’t seem that the other cop needed to be there.”

Chief Deputy of Law Enforcement Jeoff Banks said the law is intended to protect motorists and ensure economic responsibility.

“Many hit-and-run accidents occur often with unlicensed drivers, and the victim of the accident is left with no recourse,” Banks said.

But Disho says law enforcement is driven by a means to generate revenue.

“What ends up happening is officers are pressured to perform; it becomes a matter of job security,” he said. “It’s another way they can generate revenue for the state, and a way to advance their careers.”

Nationwide, impounds at checkpoints generated an estimated $40 million in towing fees and police fines in 2009 — revenue that municipalities divide with towing firms, according to the California Watch report.

Banks disputed the validity of some of the information people tend to latch on to. Law-enforcement officers are solely trying to protect the public, he said.

“I think there’s a lot of information that’s not accurate,” Banks said. “The perspective that people should take needs to come from people who have licenses and insurance” and who are left to pay for increasing insurance rates and vehicular repairs.

But Marcellin argued that overstaffed checkpoints and an increasing number of citations represent a different motive.

“This is an incident of gauging taxpayers, and extorting people for their money,” he said.

Noozhawk intern Alex Kacik is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.




comments powered by Disqus

» on 10.04.10 @ 06:01 AM

I agree with Mr. Disho; it is ridiculous to impound the car for a drivers license that recently expired because of an oversight. The police need to distinguish between a suspended license and one that has recently expired. The former should be severely dealt with while the latter may justify a ticket that can be remedied by producing a valid license. The lack of common sense here would lead one to believe that this is a revenue-generation program for the police and the municipality disguised as a public safety program.

» on 10.04.10 @ 06:06 AM

Are you kidding me?! What happened to fix-it tickets?

Thanks for your service to our country, Mr. Disho. Sorry you were wounded in combat. Here’s your $1,000 bill. Have a nice day.

» on 10.04.10 @ 10:16 AM

Out of control. Do you know that there is an annual contest every year to see which “officer” gives out the most DUI’s? Does that sound like what we bargained for? Whatever happened to serve and protect. And while I’m venting, why does every cop need his own car which he never turns off. Now there is a place to save some money.

» on 10.04.10 @ 10:44 AM

I agree with Mr. Segal’s comments about using some discretion.  However, I really don’t see the need to go into personal histories here.  Should the details of my 27 years of “service” dealing with a myriad of social ills while teaching young, impoverished children to read be printed if pulled over?  The article is about the apparent unfairness of the checkpoints not a biography.

» on 10.04.10 @ 11:41 AM

If “it’s already on the truck” means that “the truck was on the way” (which I’m not buying -BTW) then why was it “too late”? This is disgraceful. Compounding one lie with another lie is very, very upsetting, especially coming from law enforcement. Certainly makes me think of that saying, “Oh, what tangled webs we weave when we set out to deceive.”
This casts a very poor light on our Sherrif’s Dept.

» on 10.04.10 @ 12:05 PM

What part of, `Don’t drive with an expired license’ is unclear?

Having said that, the deputy who said `The car is on the tow truck’ when the car was *not* on the tow truck should be fired, as should any Sheriff’s spokesperson who dissembled.

We need a zero tolerance policy for any misrepresentation by a law enforcement officer.

» on 10.04.10 @ 12:13 PM

This is all the more reason to vote NO on Measure S.  Don’t give this department or the Santa Barbara PD any more money to waste.  Cut the Pork / No on S.

» on 10.04.10 @ 01:31 PM

So what is the overall editorial message here?  That those subject to a fine for violating the law then believe that the Sheriff Deputies were obnoxious?

Is this promoting a policy position that someone can drive with an expired drivers license? Or only if the expiration happened within the past 30 days?  Or that disabled war veterans or foreign nationals should get an exception to the laws that apply to everyone else?

I do agree that the date format can be confusing when most of the world uses a format with day-month-year sequence.

I recall that when my drivers license was close to expiration I received at least a 60-day notice.

» on 10.04.10 @ 01:32 PM

I agree with previous postings that it is great that the Sheriff’s Dept. is intent on protecting us. However, perception is 100% of someone’s reality and the reality that the Sheriff’s Dept. now must face is a percpetion of Deputies not acting professionally, and showing a lack of respect if not being dishonest. As a taxpayer I have to question the true worth of a program if on the one hand a department is “protecting” us and on the other sending the message that they can’t be trusted and are acting and behaving in a manner the questions their integretity. Whether this truly reflects this Department or not, it is the reality now and it is an area that the Department should address if they want to maintain the public’s respect and desire to assist and help when it is called for.

» on 10.04.10 @ 01:36 PM

In New Jersey the police are referred to as ‘thugs with badges’.  It’s not hard in SB to observe examples of police flaunting their power (e.g. blocking traffic to issue a parking ticket, general arrogance).  AND these guys are the holdouts to helping fix the local budget problem.  Too much power in the hands of people with guns.  And another argument in favor of reasonable gun legislation, including and especially the right to carry for non-felon citizens of legal age.

» on 10.04.10 @ 02:06 PM

I am not sure that I agree with the perspective of this being about extortion, but one way the police department could easily fix that perception is to allow a window of time for someone to come pick the car up instead of just throwing it onto a truck as fast as possible.

» on 10.04.10 @ 02:44 PM

Well, many aspects of this situation smells. I hope Hoozhawk will stick on this story, like the LA Times has done with the city of Bell.

If the lady from Tijuana really got the dates turned around, then it would have been nice if she could have gone to court to fight the charges. But, I suspect she had to return home.

Overtime pay for these officers? That’s not right! How do we stop this?

It is too bad that one of the other licensed people in the car could not have driven it…I suspect the law does not give that option, is that right Noozhawk? Why didn’t you look into that and report on it? Lazy?

As for generating income…the city getting a percent of the towing charges sounds like a conflict of interest that should e squelched. And, since all government entities seem to be starving for cash these days, we should do everything we can to raise taxes on the rich and corporations, who have gotten a free ride for way too long.

» on 10.04.10 @ 02:57 PM

There must be more to this….bad attitude…poor excuses by the drivers.

I, too, have been pulled over at one of these stops…..handed my license over and was proud to tell the officer I had memorized my license number ...“pretty good I know it, huh?”  He then asked if I knew the expiration….“uh…on my birthday”...Yeah…the last one. I thought he was joking. I was flabbergasted!  I was technically an unlicensed driver and had been driving children!!!!!  He believed I had no idea it had expired and said others are not so honest when they are caught. Tow trucks were taking them away while I was cited. I was not impounded.

Unlike the others…..I was able to call my husband who picked me up and took me immediately to the DMV…where I took the written test and renewed it within 2 hours. Returned…showed the officer and was able to leave with my car.  It pays to be honest and lucky!

I am not stuck with a photo of me looking like a crack addict on my license because I had been crying thinking they would impound our only family car over the holidays.  I now know when all my important things expire!!!

» on 10.04.10 @ 04:08 PM

Government union jobs gone BAD—Its about their pay and huge pensions—Why are tickets hundreds of dollars, the ticket already hurts the diver bad enough—3 years on your record. Higher insurance etc. Stealing from the taxpayers.

Its all about the government unions getting more of your money for their pensions.

» on 10.04.10 @ 04:53 PM

BEWARE OF THE $200 “CALIFORNIA STOP TICKET CONCESSION” IN CARPINTERIA AREA RUN BY THE SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT AND THE HIGHWAY PATROL…..PATICULARLY CRAVENS LANE AND VIA REAL.

» on 10.04.10 @ 06:00 PM

So you guys are saying they should make exceptions to the law?  Ignorance of the law is no excuse and I would bet the young man knew his license was expired and just had not got around to renewing it and the young lady was leaving the country so why bother.  Give me a break, the law is the law and if you break it, be prepared to pay the price.

» on 10.04.10 @ 06:50 PM

Come on drew. Your explanation does not pass the smell test.

» on 10.04.10 @ 07:02 PM

I think the point, sbmother, is that the price shouldn’t be arbitrary. The ticket for driving with an expired liscence is probably $200 - 250. Adding to that the cost of towing (which ISN’T mandatory OR necessary in most cases) adds quite a bit to the cost.
I understand that the unliscenced driver shouldn’t be able to drive the car home, but that doesn’t mean that it should be immediately towed, and especially in the case of the au pair, when there were other drivers in the car, one of them should have been allowed to drive the car. The incentive of the police and tow truck drivers getting a commission off of towed vehicles makes this look like that’s really the whole point - towing cars to make money. Sorry, but I think it stinks, and add to that the lying, and that makes it worse.

» on 10.04.10 @ 08:10 PM

David prichett is a union shill, and should never hold office—unions and welfare are all he cares about, and the hec with the poor private sector worker who pays for all the waste and fraud.

The Pensions for Government workers is one big scam, and we must say no to all new taxes fee’s and bonds..

» on 10.04.10 @ 09:45 PM

To Overtaxed: I once met David when he was campaigning in my neighborhood.  What a breath of fresh air.  His ideas were clear,well-spoken, and succinct.  He would make a terrific public office holder and I can’t wait for the day when he is!

» on 10.04.10 @ 11:55 PM

It’s about money and power…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH9k8L3oDa4

» on 10.05.10 @ 01:11 AM

Pop Fly—or David’s father no more government union puppets like your son, we are Over-taxed already. David like other union shills would ask for even more money from the poor private sector worker.

Vote the tax and waste liberals out- Das, Capps. Boxer, Pelosi all paid off by unions and trial lawyers. chasing jobs and businesses to other countries.

The Dem party is now only welfare and unions??

» on 10.05.10 @ 01:21 AM

Taxpayer, I also heard that Pritchett tortures kittens and beats his wife… and is a SOCIALIST!  Thanks for warning us about the evils of David Pritchett.

» on 10.05.10 @ 12:51 PM

Isn’t the reason for the police and the DMV laws to protect the public?

How does confiscating someone’s car because his/her driver’s license is overdue for renewal protect anyone?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to give the overdue licensee a time limit to update their license, like a fix-it ticket for a headlight out, no front license plate, etc.?

I wonder if the police involved ever think about how they would like to be treated if they were on the other side of their “us-versus-them” game?

» on 10.05.10 @ 01:23 PM

The day David Pritchett, aka union shill and big government fan, gets elected is the day I move out of whatever district was foolish enough enough to put him in office.  C’mon, David, even Cuba has figured out that unfettered government control doesn’t work.

» on 10.05.10 @ 01:49 PM

thank you alex for writing an informative, intelligent article. it takes courage to say anything negative about law enforcement, but clearly this situation is so far out of control that someone needs to. i don’t expect our elected officials to get all worked up over this latest incident, considering that they have been pussy-footing around the cops in this town for years. perhaps it will take a strong citizen group and a lawsuit or two to get this issue the attention it deserves. sb doesn’t deserve a crooked, self-serving, power-mongering police presence.

» on 10.05.10 @ 04:27 PM

This is simply unfair and unreasonable behavior by an officer of the law.
This is a classic example of a “Conflict of Interest” and the public should be enraged and see that this policy is changed immediately.
If the CHP were to stop you and discovered that you had an expired license, they would issue you a citation. They would not tow and impound your vehicle.
The public should be writing letters of outrage to Sheriff Brown and their county supervisor regarding this absurd fee splitting arrangement with the towing companies. How Cozy, and this practice should be challenged in court.
Did they arrest any drunk drivers?

» on 10.05.10 @ 05:17 PM

How about arresting all the law breaking illegal aliens and gang members who are destroying our nation everyday.

The illegals will tell us how to run our country very soon with their millions of anchor babies who get free welfare, food stamps, section 8 and free health care—

We are allowing liberals to destroy our way of life?-
Pandering for future Democatic votes, at our expense.

» on 10.06.10 @ 12:17 AM

13 cops at a checkpoint>they’re jackin up OT.

» on 10.06.10 @ 05:30 AM

In response to one of the previous comments, I had no idea that licenses expire on your birthday and that ignorance is certainly my fault. I just don’t believe that the cause of justice is being served when people who’ve never been in trouble with the law are made to feel like criminals while their vehicles are impounded over an oversight of a few days. There’s the letter of the law and the spirit of the law, which explains why some drivers are given citations and others are given warnings. What message does this send to our society when the police are forcefully taking people’s cars for administrative errors? For a disabled veteran/college student on a pension, that money meant no textbooks for this quarter…and that hurt almost as much as having my car impounded because it’s a daily reminder that the struggles didn’t end when I left Baghdad…I just expected more from Santa Barbara’s “finest”.

» on 10.06.10 @ 01:22 PM

Perhaps someone should send a link to this discussion to the SB Board of Supervisors to see if they will reign in the abuses discussed here?

» on 10.06.10 @ 08:37 PM

Mr. Disho, I agree there is no excuse for the way you were treated. The police seem to have this “we against them” attitude and treat the public as if we are all law-breakers. I find them rude, arrogant and many times unreasonable. They need to remember that 99% of the public are law-abiding taxpayers who pay their salaries. Unfortunately, they have a very powerful union and they seem to think they are entitled to compensation and retirement benefits that nobody else enjoys. It seems to me that their union has insulated them from reality, and that they have totally forgotten that their main function is to protect the public from the bad guys.

Mr. Disho, The way you were treated is one of the main reasons why I am an ardent believer in small Govt., because invariably when Govt gets too big or powerful, it ends up abusing the people it is suppose to serve.

» on 10.06.10 @ 10:24 PM

@lou segal:  I couldn’t agree more.  Rude and arrogant is only the beginning.  Ever walked into Police HQ on Figueroa?  Bullet-proof glass, suspicion and attitude dripping off the city employees, er police officers.  Yes, their job can be difficult, but in this town there is no excuse for their behavior and attitude.

» on 10.07.10 @ 03:57 AM

Without the people’s support, the police would not be able to do thier job—We are the police, they are us—-think about it?

Tell them what you want?-

» on 10.07.10 @ 05:29 AM

Reading this reminds me of coming back from Sonoma one day back right after 9/11. I was going across the Golden Gate Bridge on the day that the threat levels for bridges went up. I looked over and 5 cops/chp and 3 guardsmen where eating donuts on the side of the entrance to the bridge. What got me is right in front of me was a refrigerator truck that could of been hauling anything.
The cops and OT is just stupid. No reason for it they should plan for these and just put extra cops on those shifts. I went through one of these not long ago. It was the dumbest thing ever. Most of the cops where over eating food while 3 or 4 worked and the line was huge.

I have many friends that work for towing companies and they all joke about towing for the city or county. They all know its 30 days of pay. Plus extra fees according to the time of day. Night is more then days. Highway is even more. It is all a scam really. These should honestly be fix it tickets if your with in like 5-10 days of your license expiring. What is really sad is how many people cant afford to pay the fees and lose their cars to the tow yard and sell off for profit. I wonder if the city gets fees from that too. Or pick of the litter for new undercover cars.

» on 10.08.10 @ 01:13 PM

This might prevent some of the abuses.  As reported in the LA Times article regarding the state budget today:  “Democrats pushed legislation to address an element of alleged corruption in Bell, where the city was reported to be making money by towing the cars of sober immigrants from DUI checkpoints if they did not have proper ID. The proposed law change would prohibit that practice.”

But then, so would a better class of police officers and City Councilpeople.

» on 10.09.10 @ 02:39 PM

Follow the rules folks.  Most of us do. No one should be above the law.  Shame on Noozhawk for printing this slanted article. Did these folks have insurance?  Will Rick’s policy cover the driver?

AndyG.

» on 10.09.10 @ 06:52 PM

Andrew wrote: “Follow the rules folks.  Most of us do. No one should be above the law.  Shame on Noozhawk for printing this slanted article.”

Well, the way I read this article, it wasn’t slanted at all AND it did not appear that the people involved were trying to ignore the rules just didn’t pay close attention to arbitrary dates.

I would repeat for Andrew what I wrote a few days ago - Isn’t the reason for the police and the DMV laws to protect the public? So how does confiscating someone’s car because his/her driver’s license is overdue for renewal (not suspended for an infraction) protect anyone?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to give the overdue licensee a time limit to update their license, like a fix-it ticket for a headlight out, no front license plate, etc.?

» on 01.29.11 @ 10:34 PM

Pretending to be a war veteran and gaining sympathy from the public is lacking in judgment where there are real veterans out there who were actually injured. For someone who has lived in California for quite a long time, you think one would know by now when their license expires.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

» on 01.30.11 @ 03:27 PM

Gee whiz…Driving with an expired driver’s license and they wonder why they got their autos towed. All the superfluous fluff and background stories do not change the rules.  No valid license?  Pay the fine. No valid license ...don’t drive!
The really sad thing here is that upstanding citizens like Mr. Marcellin take the side of the scofflaws.
Andy G.

» on 01.30.11 @ 04:32 PM

The key point missing in that recent comment is common sense.

As I pointed out before, the reason for police and DMV laws and rules is supposed to protect the public. So how does confiscating their cars because they didn’t mail in their renewal fee by an arbitrary renewal date improve our safety? 

In the incidents described, they didn’t have their right to drive revoked because of any dangerous violations. They simply forgot to renew by a specified date. The fact that they HAD a drivers’ license but it had expired should be evaluated differently from the case of someone that had their license revoked for dangerous driving.

Driving without a front license plate is also against the motor vehicle code. But for those cases, violators are given a small fine and a “fix-it” ticket. Based upon the previous comments, shouldn’t those drivers without a front license plate have their cars impounded when they are ticketed the same as having an expired license? Or rather than doing that, wouldn’t it make more sense to give the overdue licensee a time limit to update their license, like a fix-it ticket for a headlight out, no front license plate, etc.?

» on 01.30.11 @ 07:25 PM

@truthspeaks—

“pretending” to be a war veteran? I suppose the Iraqis were shooting “pretend” bullets/mortars at us…the military “pretended” I got injured and I have a “pretend” pension. Your sheer ignorance is deplorable and I can’t help but wonder where these comments even begin to have the shadow of merit.

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