Tuesday, January 31, 2006

D.W.I. Forfeiture Ordinance

As I stated on the New Mexican Website Comments Section here is the link where you can read the proposed D.W.I. Forfeiture Ordinance for Santa Fe County. I will speak more about this in my next post. Sorry, the format needs some fixing but its not too bad.


Albany Lawyer said...

I'm a DWI lawyer in Albany NY. Like many forfeiture proposals, this is grotesque. I won't bother addressing the unfairness when the driver is the owner. But for when the driver is not the owner, this proposed ordinance is grossly unfair. The standard for forfeiture is whether the owner had knowledge that the driver would be driving the car. Not, by contrast, whether the driver would be driving the car while intoxicated.

In any case, forfeiture laws always seem to lead to the police profiting from the forfeiture. In our area, there is one particular police chief who drives a nearly new BMW that was confiscated in a drug case.

We have enough problems with police corruption. This simply creates more incentives for police to do bad things.

Sheriff Greg Solano said...

The ordinance is written in such a way that innocent owners may keep their vehicle provided they sign an agreement that if the same driver is found driving on a revoked license (revoked for DWI) or driving drunk in the same vehicle the vehicle would only then be forfeited. Thereby allowing even another chance for the family and friends to keep vehicles out of the hands of repeat offenders. All moneys from the forfeitures that do not go towards the cost of the program itself will go (by ordinance) to treament and prevention programs. The goal is not to take cars it is to give families and law enforcement tools to prevent drunk driving. Under no circumstances will I be driving anything other than my government purchased police unit. We have never kept confiscated vehicles for anything other than undercover use and even then only under a limited basis. Thank you for your comments.