DUI Policing for Profit Explained

DUI enforcement and DUI checkpoints is all about policing for profit. Here is a video that clearly explains the dangers of policing for profit:

Whatever happened to the noble sheriff trying to protect us from the bad guys?

While Pennsylvania doesn’t have this yet for DUI cases, I am sure that we are not far behind. I am lucky in that I have a lot of colleagues all across the United States and have been able to confirm through them the following states. Here is a list of other states that have or had DUI car forfeiture laws under certain circumstances:

  • Texas
  • Illinois (a trial court has declared it unconstitutional)
  • Arizona
  • Tennessee
  • New York
  • Michigan (currently pending review per double jeopardy in the Michigan Supreme Court)
  • Utah
  • Alaska
  • Massachusetts
  • North Carolina
  • Wisconsin (rescinded in July 2010)
  • California
  • Washington, D.C.

According to NHTSA’s publication “Update of Vehicle Sanction Laws and Their Application” found in Traffic Safety Facts (Traffic Tech-Technology Transfer Series) published January 2009, the following states have laws on the books for it:

Arkansas, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington (the state) and Wisconsin.

Canada and New Zealand also have similar laws.

I have pointed this out in a previous post:

California Cops Exploit DUI Checkpoints to Rake in Cash

California police are turning DUI checkpoints into profitable operations that are far more likely to seize cars from unlicensed minority motorists than catch drunken drivers.

This article is a good piece of investigative journalism and it is well worth a read.  What the author found was that California police frequently setup DUI checkpoints in heavily Hispanic areas to target illegal immigrants.  Under CA law, the police can impound the vehicle of a driver who does not have a license for 30 days.  There is no such law for DUI drivers.  Illegal immigrants often do not have driver’s licenses and thus are a target for having their vehicle impounded.  Once their vehicle is seized, they are often too afraid to seek legal avenues to challenge this act or are unable to afford the fines.  Through these vehicle seizures, California police departments have earned windfall profits all in the name of DUI enforcement.

So there you have it folks, police are seizing cars and property from innocent people without any accountability.

Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Avvo.com. Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

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