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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    10.23.16 @ 06:20 PM
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    Default Calif. bill would protect unlicensed drivers from arrest...

    A bill loaded with immigration politics and potential implications for highway safety has landed on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.

    The legislation by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, would change police procedures at drunken-driving checkpoints, prohibiting officers from arresting drivers and immediately impounding their cars if their only offense is not having a license.

    Supporters say the bill, AB353, would impose a consistent policy statewide - some agencies confiscate unlicensed drivers' cars now, and some do not - while keeping DUI checkpoints from being turned into traps for otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants who cannot obtain licenses.

    "In most parts of California, you basically have to have a car," said Mark Silverman, director of immigration policy at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. "You have to be able to drive to survive, to get anywhere. Because of that, the truth is, immigrant drivers without licenses will be driving anyway because of the necessity. The towing of cars will not stop people from driving."

    But for families who have lost loved ones because of unlicensed drivers, the bill would endanger everyone who uses the roads.

    When Don Rosenberg tells the story of his son's death, he begins not on the day it happened, but on June 14, 2010 - the day a San Francisco man was stopped for driving the wrong way down a one-way street.

    Car returned to driver
    The man, 53-year-old Roberto Galo, did not have a driver's license. He got a ticket and his car was impounded by the city, but he had it back the next day.

    Five months later, still without a license, Galo drove that car into Rosenberg's 25-year-old son, Drew, sending him toppling over the handlebars of his motorcycle. Galo's car then ran over the second-year Golden Gate University law student several times. He died on the way to the hospital.

    If Brown signs Cedillo's bill, "more people will die, plain and simple," said Don Rosenberg, 58, who lives in Westlake Village (Los Angeles County).

    What would change
    Under the bill, police would have to make a reasonable effort to find either the registered owner of the unlicensed driver's car, or a licensed driver authorized by the registered owner to pick up the car at the checkpoint.

    If officers cannot find the registered owner or an authorized licensed driver, they could impound the car. The unlicensed driver could be cited but not arrested.

    "We're not condoning driving without a license," said Dan Savage, Cedillo's chief of staff. "But we have to abide by the law, which is the law preventing illegal search and seizures."

    He pointed out that some cities, San Francisco included, already follow such procedures.

    Savage cited media reports that found some local governments profiting from the impounding of cars at DUI checkpoints, getting a cut of towing and storage fees.

    One city in particular that Savage said was guilty of such profiteering was Bell (Los Angeles County), which drew national attention last year for the unusually high salaries of city officials.

    Illegals seen as focus
    Silverman said the current DUI checkpoint policy singles out illegal immigrants for punishment.

    He said he understands the dangers of unlicensed drivers. A 2000 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that unlicensed drivers were 4.9 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than licensed drivers, 3.7 times more likely to drive while intoxicated, and 4.4 times more likely to be hit-and-run drivers. An update to the study in 2008 found the statistics virtually unchanged.

    But those numbers don't differentiate between illegal immigrants who are unlicensed because they aren't allowed to obtain licenses, and legal citizens who are unlicensed because they refuse to get one or theirs was revoked, Silverman said.

    Rosenberg said the solution isn't to allow illegal immigrants to drive without licenses, but to make it legal for them to take the proper tests and get licenses.

    Santa Rosa tragedy
    If Cedillo's bill becomes law, Rosenberg said, "not only will people who were caught get their cars back sooner, it will empower other people who haven't been driving because they were afraid of getting caught to start driving."

    Rosenberg cited the Aug. 19 crash in Santa Rosa in which a 4-year-old boy, Christopher "Buddy" Rowe, was killed while crossing the street. The driver was a suspected illegal immigrant who had been arrested twice in the past for driving without a license.

    "When I read that article about that 4-year-old, I could instantly feel what those parents were feeling," he said. "I have enough bad feelings. I don't need any more."
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    10.23.16 @ 04:26 PM
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    The old "everyone is breaking the law anyway, so let's give up" policy.

    Dear God, as a country we are so going down the shitter.

    Here's a thought, how about maybe imprisoning and deporting the ILLEGAL FUCKING IMMIGRANTS?!?!
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  3. #3
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    10.23.16 @ 06:47 PM
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    Yeah, I don't understand why that's such a problem - you are determined to be here illegally, here's the door - don't come back. Hell, microchip 'em like dogs so we can track 'em if we have to.



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