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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Default California to Ban Police From Towing Cars of Unlicensed Drivers

    ESCONDIDO, Calif. – Delfino Aldama was fixing a customer's brakes this month when his smartphone chimed with a text message that tipped him to a police checkpoint more than an hour before officers began stopping motorists. The self-employed auto mechanic frantically called friends with the location and drove an alternate route home.

    The Mexico native had reason to be alarmed: He does not have a driver's license because he is in the United States illegally, and it would cost about $1,400 to get his Nissan Frontier pickup back from the towing company. He has breathed a little easier since he began getting blast text messages two years ago from activists who scour streets to find checkpoints as they are being set up.

    The cat-and-mouse game ends Jan. 1 when a new law takes effect in California to prohibit police from impounding cars at sobriety checkpoints if a motorist's only offense is being an unlicensed driver. Thousands of cars are towed each year in the state under those circumstances, hitting pocketbooks of illegal immigrants especially hard.

    When Aldama's 1992 Honda Civic was towed from a checkpoint years ago, he quit his job frying chickens at a fast-food restaurant because he had no way to make the 40-mile round trip to work. He abandoned the car rather than pay about $1,200 in fees.

    "A car is a necessity, it's not a luxury," said the 35-year-old Aldama, who lives in Escondido with his wife, who is a legal resident, and their 5-year-old son, a U.S. citizen.

    Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, a Los Angeles Democrat who tried unsuccessfully to restore driver licenses to illegal immigrants after California revoked the privilege in 1993, said he introduced the bill to ban towing after learning the notoriously corrupt city of Bell raked in big fees from unlicensed drivers at checkpoints.

    A sharp increase in federally funded sobriety checkpoints in California has fueled controversy. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration paid for 2,553 checkpoints last year, which authorities say helps explain why deaths caused by drunken drivers dropped to an all-time low in the state.

    Police also ask for drivers' licenses at the sobriety checkpoints. Supporters of the vehicle impounds say unlicensed drivers are also a roadside hazard and that the new law is misguided.

    "It's a terrible law, really disappointing," said Jim Maher, who sharply expanded checkpoints in Escondido after being named police chief in 2006.

    All but three U.S. states -- New Mexico, Utah and Washington -- deny driver's licenses to illegal immigrants but controversy over checkpoints has been strongest in California. Cedillo believes that's because a 1995 state law has allowed police to impound vehicles from unlicensed drivers for 30 days, resulting in fees that can easily top $1,000.

    Towing practices vary widely across the state. San Francisco allows 20 minutes to find a licensed driver to claim a vehicle at a checkpoint. The Los Angeles Police Department eased rules on 30-day impounds in March.

    Checkpoints have divided Escondido, a city of 144,000 people near San Diego whose Latino population has surged in the last 30 years. Latinos moved into aging neighborhoods near downtown as newer subdivisions gradually spread to avocado orchards, vineyards and citrus groves. Nearly half the signs at a big strip mall near City Hall are in Spanish.

    Like Hazleton, Pa., and Farmers Branch, Texas, authorities in Escondido have tackled illegal immigration on their own.

    In 2006, the City Council voted to require landlords to check tenants' immigration status but a federal judge blocked the ordinance and it never took effect. Last year, Escondido police forged an unusually close alliance with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has four agents at police headquarters to check the immigration status of people who are questioned at checkpoints or elsewhere.

    "It's a never-ending battle," said Concilman Ed Gallo, a New Jersey transplant who blames illegal immigration for overcrowded homes and schools. "We didn't pay attention to it for 25 years and look what happened. It was a long, slow process."

    Several residents and a labor union sued Escondido in state court this month to create City Council districts, a bid to increase Latino representation. The lawsuit says the council has pursued "aggressive anti-immigrant policies that have inflamed racial tensions."

    Maher (pronounced mah-HAR') said the partnership with ICE is aimed only at rooting out illegal immigrants who commit crimes after arriving in the United States, including being previously deported. Those whose only offense is being in the country illegally won't be bothered by his officers, nor will any crime victims or witnesses.

    Police say they have turned over 670 people to ICE for immigration proceedings since the joint effort began in May 2010. Their most common offenses were previous convictions for driving under the influence and drugs, with lower numbers for theft and assault.

    "We certainly have enough of our own criminals. We don't need someone else's here," Maher said.

    Escondido has impounded more than 3,200 vehicles since 2006, mostly at the federally funded sobriety checkpoints. The city had towed about 1,000 at driver-license-only checkpoints until the American Civil Liberties Union and El Grupo, a Latino advocacy group, threatened a lawsuit in 2009, contending they violated the state vehicle code.

    Maher insists he is targeting unlicensed drivers, not illegal immigrants or Latinos.

    Six towing companies each pay the city $75,000 a year to take turns at checkpoints, keeping impound fees for themselves. About one-third of the cars towed are believed to be abandoned, allowing the towing companies to auction them.

    "It was kind of like letting them steal cars," said Olga Diaz, the only Hispanic on the City Council.

    Websites that have sprung up in the last two years quickly alert motorists to checkpoints through social media networks and smartphones, severely undermining their effectiveness. A few years ago, Escondido police impounded 50 or 60 vehicles a night. Now they typically get about 20.

    One of the final checkpoints before the new law takes effect was one of the slowest in memory for many of the 15 officers who stood under bright lights and encountered a December chill. Activists waved signs several blocks away, giving motorist an opportunity to turn away. Police impounded six vehicles -- three for driving without a license and three for driving under the influence.

    Aldama, who paid a smuggler $1,300 to lead him through the mountains east of San Diego on a weeklong trek 13 years ago, was able to reach all his friends before the checkpoint began. One he didn't call had his 1997 Ford Explorer towed at an Escondido checkpoint a few weeks earlier. The unemployed construction worker surrendered the SUV to the towing company because he couldn't afford the fees.
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  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing! mikehunt5150's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 05:41 AM
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    if they have no licence they have no insurance . if an accident occurs its the tax payers fortune the bill. he works here illegally doesn't pay taxes . Tow his car and deport him . just my opinion.

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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    The cat-and-mouse game ends Jan. 1 when a new law takes effect in California to prohibit police from impounding cars at sobriety checkpoints if a motorist's only offense is being an unlicensed driver.
    Then just set up "unlicensed driver" checkpoints separately, and if you happen to catch a drunk driver then it's a bonus. Problem solved.
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  4. #4
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 02:42 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLFHS View Post
    Then just set up "unlicensed driver" checkpoints separately, and if you happen to catch a drunk driver then it's a bonus. Problem solved.
    It's not that simple. Checkpoints have to follow strict rules and regulations. Sobriety checkpoints are set up to get drunks off the road, hence it's a public safety issue. Checkpoints set up under the intention of checking for licenses open up a new legal can of worms even tho it's the law to have one. It's a slippery slope.

    But in this case that's really not the point. This was about the impounding of illegal alien's vehicles, the schmucks in Sacramento don't care about who has a license or not. It was pushed thru by illegal alien lobby. Plain and simple.
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  5. #5
    Unchained gavs5150's Avatar
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    We have officially lost our minds.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 03:33 PM
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    Is there another country I can move to that isn't so blatantly stupid?

    How's Australia?

    Canada is too fucking cold.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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  7. #7
    Good Enough vcooper3's Avatar
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    What is the penalty for the unlicensed drivers caught at the sobriety checkpoints? "Well, at least you're not drunk, even though you don't have a license". Have a nice day.

    What happens if someone is armed with a weapon when they're caught at the sobriety checkpoint and they don't have a concealed weapon permit at the police find out that the individual is armed? Open a can of worms here.

  8. #8
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vcooper3 View Post
    What is the penalty for the unlicensed drivers caught at the sobriety checkpoints? "Well, at least you're not drunk, even though you don't have a license". Have a nice day.
    Not sure exactly what the fine is but pretty sure it's fairly stiff, maybe couple hundred bucks. But now you will just be cited and sent on your way. You won't be able to drive your car off but it won't be towed. It's a Brave New World!
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  9. #9
    Baluchitherium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    Is there another country I can move to that isn't so blatantly stupid?

    How's Australia?

    Canada is too fucking cold.
    In England, if you have no licence (and therefore no insurance and road tax) they take your car and crush it and charge you for it. They also charge you with a criminal offence and you get a minimum of a one year ban from driving. Thats how it should be done.
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    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


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  10. #10
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    Wow, you guys are tough. Reminds me of that Steve Martin movie with Kathleen Turner, forget the name of it, where those German cops give him a sobriety test. Make him stand one one leg, hop, juggle some balls and sing a show tune at the same time.
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  11. #11
    Baluchitherium
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    I wonder when California is going to ban Californians?

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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommywho5150 View Post
    In England, if you have no licence (and therefore no insurance and road tax) they take your car and crush it and charge you for it. They also charge you with a criminal offence and you get a minimum of a one year ban from driving. Thats how it should be done.
    No way am I moving to Northern Pakistan, I mean England!



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  13. #13
    Baluchitherium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwood P. View Post
    Wow, you guys are tough. Reminds me of that Steve Martin movie with Kathleen Turner, forget the name of it, where those German cops give him a sobriety test. Make him stand one one leg, hop, juggle some balls and sing a show tune at the same time.
    The Man With Two Brains?

    Over here all they really need is for you to not have Road Tax and they will crush your car. You pay it either every 6 months or every twelve but in order for you to be able to pay it you have to have insurance and an MOT Test (an annual safety test that all vehicles are subject to). All this information is stored online so there is now way of getting round it, so if you don't have one you don't have any. The Police have camera's in their vehicles that alert them to any vehicles without the proper paperwork, so they will stop you, take your car, give you a fine/summons and then make you walk home. If you do not claim the vehicle within so many days, pay the release fee plus daily charge and get all your paperwork in order, the car is crushed at your expense.

    If you don't declare your car as being off the road (maybe due to work being carried out) and the tax expires, they will come to your house and collect it!
    after all this, we still have a problem with idiots driving around without any of the proper paperwork etc, its just crazy that they risk losing their wheels/freedom for something most of us do willingly and only takes a few minutes of your life!
    http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150

    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


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    "I'm a 45-year-old man, and I still like to wear a thong or a speedo when I go swimming.
    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

    "Dude, the cashier gave me the creepiest sneer when he rang up my unmentionables!"...Sassy Lassy during a Facebook conversation!

  14. #14
    Baluchitherium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    No way am I moving to Northern Pakistan, I mean England!



    I kid, I kid!
    It's Central England mate. I live in Leicestershire and Leicester City has just tipped the scales, we now have more ethnic minorities living here than we do ethnic British!...and thats the LEGAL immigrants, there are countless illegals (but thats a subject for pm's or another thread! )
    http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150

    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


    "The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW

    "I'm a 45-year-old man, and I still like to wear a thong or a speedo when I go swimming.
    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

    "Dude, the cashier gave me the creepiest sneer when he rang up my unmentionables!"...Sassy Lassy during a Facebook conversation!

  15. #15
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommywho5150 View Post
    The Man With Two Brains?
    Yes! He played that doctor, Dr. Havarrrrrrrre . . .
    "I'm the opposite of Bill Cosby. Diamond Dave always gets your approval." (DLR)

    "Kids, just say NO to marriage". (Al Bundy)

    Rawhide in "A"

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