In California, if an undocumented citizen finds themselves in a sobriety checkpoint, their vehicle will be impounded for up to 30 days. The reason? Illegal aliens aren't permitted to have driver's licenses. And if the driver cannot afford fines that crest the $1,000 mark, in many cases the towing company will become the owner of the vehicle, which can then be sold at auction.

The law has led to web services that warn illegal immigrants of the roadblocks before they are set up. The social media sites and text messages have greatly reduced the vehicle confiscations, but a new law should eliminate them all-together. The Associated Press reports that California will stop the practice of towing effective January 1.

The news good for some and bad for others, particularly tow truck companies which can pay up to $75,000 per year for the right to tow away the vehicles, and since many cars and trucks go unclaimed, the companies were making a lot of money selling vehicles at auction.


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  • 94 Comments
      Niko
      • 3 Years Ago
      This law is a joke. The car should be towed if you don't have a driver's license. What I have a problem with is the fines. A tow should not exceed what is the going rate which last time I checked isn’t $1000. Then someone with a driver’s license needs to go to the yard to pick the car up. If they don’t have anyone, sorry they lose the car. If you don’t have a driver’s license, there is a good chance you don’t have insurance either. If they are illegal immigrants, not my problem, they need to get the paperwork done to become a US citizen or go back to Mexico. The laws are favoring more illegal citizens at a cost to US citizens and needs to be stopped.
        Glynn Hadskey
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Niko
        I'm pretty sure the $1,000 figure included fines. That's what the articled said and even what youjust said. That's not just the cost of a tow. It does seem like a system that is ripe for abuse. Since the fines are leveed by the state and not the towing company, the auction money should go to pay the state their fines, the towing company their fee and if there is anything left, it should go back to the owner.
      dukeisduke
      • 3 Years Ago
      "The Associated Press reports that California will stop the practice of towing effective January 1." Gee, wasn't that five days ago? As for illegal aliens, neither Democrat nor Republican politicians care much for doing something about the issue. Democrats see them as potential voters (after amnesty), and Republicans like the cheap labor they provide to construction companies, landscaping services, etc. Never mind that their low wages depress other wages (especially for skilled construction workers), and encourage companies to hire them over Americans, who have to be paid more, along with paying the employer share of payroll taxes, Social Security, Medicare, etc.
      brian
      • 3 Years Ago
      Chris - You left out the most important part of the story: The car not be impounded only if there is someone who is legally licensed there to drive the car away. If the driver is alone and/or nobody is available to come get the car right away, the car will still be impounded.
      Actionable Mango
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm all over the map on this issue. #1 - I don't believe that road blocks should be legal. If you can't pull over an individual without cause, how is it okay to stop EVERYONE without cause? #2 - I do think police should tow a car when you catch an unlicensed driver. If the driver is unlicensed, he or she may not know how to drive or may have purposely had his or her license revoked. It's not about punishing the driver, it's about road safety... for example, I would provide an exception if there is someone in the car that has a license and can drive it away.
      Randy
      • 3 Years Ago
      See, that's the problem! The money that is gained from such illegal activities, should be directly applied to costs incurred by people that are not doing anything illegal. Such as insurance premiums, excise taxes and so on. (OR) Used to increase efforts to eliminate illegal drivers from the roads. Selling the right to tow and profit from illegal activities embraces and supports the illegal activity by continuing to allow its existence. The only flaw with Capitalism is that people capitalize on everything, even when the public's best interest is not considered! As President, I will properly allocate funds which are derived from the results of law breaker's illegal activities and apply them directly to combating the illegal activity. Any funds leftover once all illegal activity has been stopped will be pooled into an ongoing 'fight crime' fund that is not counted as income to any state or federal entity. Vote Randy 2012 :-)
      jonnybimmer
      • 3 Years Ago
      While I disagree with stopping towing companies from taking cars driven by unlicensed drivers, I find it hard to sympathize with the towing companies. Should have focused on the part with unlicensed and most likely untrained drivers on the road.
      h2ovento
      • 3 Years Ago
      So they get pulled over have no licence. So than what they can drive away? Walk away? Do they get to leave the car on the street and come back for it when the cops are gone? WTF.
        Arturo Rios Jr.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @h2ovento
        They are giving 'reasonable' time to go get someone with a license to take their cars. Whats reasonable I don't know. Regardless if they make an infraction they will be cited.
      Benjamin Roethig
      • 2 Years Ago
      You don't make needed badly reforms by giving people a free pass from any and all accountability. This gives not only hard working illegals a pass, but complete scum bags of all ethnicity.
      screwamammoth93
      • 2 Years Ago
      hey commiefornia ... are you sure you want to stop towing cars for no reason ?? they are the biggest nazis of the country
      detox440
      • 3 Years Ago
      Only in CA. The focus here seems to be on illegals -- now just to make sure I'm right, I googled it. And "illegals" are not supposed to be here. They have entered the country ILLEGALLY. It's no surprised that someone who's willing to break the law to be here will continue breaking the law when they stay. My only question is at the point they discover said driver is illegal - why do they not arrest them, tag/document them, and then release them on a one way ticket to mexico. You might say that's cruel -- I say it's efficient and exactly what this country needs to do. No letting them go, no letting them get their things. After we catch you, in less than 48 hours you WILL be back in your home country. If we catch you again, well the punishment only gets worse. Of course all this is too radical, too efficient, and would work too well to solve a problem that's only getting worse. It's CA after all they don't give a rats ass about fixing it.
        TelegramSam
        • 3 Years Ago
        @detox440
        Violently take over land that a certain people had access to for centuries, and then make it illegal to access that land. All the while luring them over the border with opportunity, and then unscrupulously paying them below market wages, creating an underclass. Then blame that very exploited individual all the while screaming and shouting about them being an 'illegal'.
          TruthHertz
          • 3 Years Ago
          @TelegramSam
          Luring them? What, by not having a nation that is close to third world status? Am I supposed to feel guilty that the Mexicans live in a f***ed up country? Hate to break it too you, Mexicans are a breed of natives that boinked the Europeans that sailed on over. So how is this a takeover of land? Borders and property change hands all the time. Some times forcefully and other times for commerce. Animals fight over territory all the time. So should we stop animals from fighting? Go vote for Obama again you stupid tool.
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ease off on the illegals and punish the small business tow company, welcome to California.
        carnut0913
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        that was my thought exactly. make it easier for illegals to take money away from the state (since they ship 50% of their illegal earnings to Mexico), and take away legal and taxed income away from small business owners. Who voted these idiots into office?
        mmapying
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        A small business that pays the state 75k to set up checkpoints everywhere to tow cars, then charging $1000 per victim is unethical, whether the driver is illegal or not.
        peteMT
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        That's because upholding the law - particularly in regards to illegal immigrants - is racist!
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        suthrn2nr
        • 3 Years Ago
        Although I agree with you that illegal immigration is a problem and letting someone drive unlicensed is not a good answer, I would not say these ppl are "lazy". Many of them crossed hundreds of miles of desert in search for a better life. On a trip to cancun we stopped in a small town to ask for directions. A 10 yr old kid ran to us begging us to buy a souvenir he had in his hands, we didn't want it as we had just bought some in a store.
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