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Re: From the Courts - Certain Vehicle Impounds to Stop


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Recent NY court considerations have gained momentum in some states that WILL impact law enforcement towing, your call volume and ultimately moneies generated from vehicle storage and lien sales. If you’ve seen a decline in towing by law enforcement, it's reported that the courts are putting a squash on police officers NOT being allowed to impound cars for drivers having warrants and suspended licenses citing public sentiment, inconvenience, loss of employments and affordability.


“The time a police officer spends arresting and processing a suspended driver which includes the paperwork, waiting for a tow truck to take away the vehicle, and taking the driver to jail is time not spent proactively addressing dangerous driving and violent crime. Instead, we’re spending our limited resources arresting drivers who are unable to pay their fines.”


In nutshell, if a vehicle is stopped and its driver is arrested for a simple warrant, the car will most likely be given to another individual designated by the arrested party or simply will be parked at the arrest location. If this hasn’t already happened in your area, stand by ... it’s just around the corner.


The article reported that, “Research showed 42-percent of drivers lost their jobs when their license was suspended; of those who found new work, 88-percent reported a decrease in pay. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators found no empirical evidence that debt-based suspension was an effective sanction. Arresting drivers who are unable to pay their fines further exacerbated their financial hardship.”


On the other hand, if someone has their license suspended, they most likely will continue to drive and the world’s roadways will be full of unlicensed drivers, especially when there's an extra set of keys at home.  As an example, year's ago, my company worked a week-long, Sheriff's department sting, where we had staged six tow trucks/carriers in the outbound driveway of the courthouse. As parties drove into the court's parking lot, they were stopped by the Sheriff for whatever probable cause they could muster. On one particular day, 18x vehicles were impounded for warrants, suspended licenses and one DUI. Imagine driving to court in DUI conditions for an earlier DUI arrest? That arrest alone demonstrates the resolve of impounding someone's car for violating the law means nothing to them. What used to be a privilege to drive has now become one's individual right to drive.        R.

Edited by rreschran

Randall C. Resch

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In our area in Southeastern PA we have seen a huge decline in the last few years with police impounds.   Most officers around us leave the vehicle parked in a parking lot, or driveway where the vehicle is pulled over.  Typically the next day, the property owner is calling us to remove an abandon car, etc.  I wish the police would just tow them in the first place, it would be alot easier.  Even in many cases we see them park a DUI car in a parking lot.  It blows my mind.    In my opinion, one of these days one of those parked cars will be damaged, or stolen and the police will have to pay for it and they will go back to the old way of impounding them.


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"parked cars will be damaged, or stolen and the police will have to pay for it"


For most departments it is not a requirement to tow the vehicle especially if it is legally parked. Each department has a different set of guidelines check with yours to understand if the perimeters have changed. Our tows have been decreasing with vehicles only being towed when there are contributing factors. The number of arrests have declined as well which has also contributed to fewer tows.

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It is funny you bring this up Mr. Resch, The city P.D. here has been following the very protocol that you just mentioned for a few months now. The problem has been that these arresting officers then park these vehicles 99% of the time on the private properties of local businesses. The property owners then call to have said unauthorized vehicles towed off their properties. I towed one just last week out of a gas station lot and when the owner came to claim his vehicle, he went up one side of me and down the other stating that the police told him his vehicle would not be towed. I explained to him that the police did NOT have his vehicle towed, the property owner did. I didnt even know up untill this point that this man had been arrested and neither did the property owner. He just came to open his station up and there was this car. He then called the police and at that point they basically tried to force me to just give him his car back!!!! It has turned into quite the debacle here. I know personally of 4 businesses in town that have lawsuits filed against the police for this practice. The argument is that the officers have no authority to leave someones vehicle on private property. Seems like a total mess. Not to mention NY just reformed their cash-bail system so most people who get arrested dont even go before a judge anymore. They get booked, photographed, handed a summons and get cut loose. in and out in about 2 hours. This includes the DRUNKS!! So, you get stopped, fail your sobriety test, get arrested, your car gets parked somewhere and your out and walking back to your illegally police-parked car before your buzz has even started to wear off... Way to go Cuomo..... 

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