Sobriety Checkpoints for the Revenue

. Sunday, February 14


Setting up sobriety checkpoints in locations of mostly Hispanic residents, California has impounded more vehicles due to unlicensed drivers than drunken ones, to the tune of 10 to 1, so says the NY Times.

Once a vehicle is impounded, the tow companies are required to hold it for at least 30 days before allowing its owner to recover the car. The cost of storage runs anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000. Needless to say, many of the vehicles are never reclaimed.

17,900 cars were impounded in 2008, 24,000 in 2009. California reasons that removing unlicensed drivers from the roads clears up another danger. Unlicensed drivers are more likely to cause collisions, and more likely to hit and run. All this is in direct defiance of a 2005 law that says a vehicle can’t be impounded without probable cause.

The bottom line: $40 million in fines and towing fees. I guess you don’t have to abide by the laws you yourself make when it comes to revenue flow.