DUI Accusations Can Lead to Permanent Loss of Vehicle with No Compensation

Drivers who has been accused three times of driving while under the influence of alcohol, even if innocent and never found guilty, can have their cars seized by police and sold by the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico under a new ordinance. That is, innocent drivers merely accused of DUI can be treated the same as those convicted  of the crime.

The American Civil Liberties Union may file suit against the “seizure and sell if accused” program as a violation of the right,  guaranteed by the United States constitution, against seizure of property without due process. The new program simply provides for an administrative hearing at which time an employee of the city decides whether to confiscate and sell the vehicle to the economic benefit of that clerk’s employer, the city.

As a result of this highly unusual arrangement that appears to be unconstitutional, the city expects to obtain $300,000 each year.



  • Council eyes tough DUI strategy. The New Mexican, January 10, 2007.

See Also

Fact: The breath of a person who drinks a non-alcoholic beer will smell as alcoholic as that of a person who consumes an alcoholic beer!

Filed Under: Drinking and Driving

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