Unlicensed drivers without prior convictions would be given the chance to avoid having their vehicles impounded under new rules outlined by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Chief Charlie Beck told the Los Angeles Times that impounding the vehicles of illegal immigrants is "a fairness issue." The hundreds of dollars in fees and fines that must be paid to retrieve an impounded car and the disruption to illegal immigrants' often tenuous hold on jobs deal a disproportionate blow to people "who are a valuable asset to our community and who have very limited resources."
The chief is also complying with state law by adopting the new policy, which allows the driver to call someone with a valid license to drive the vehicle from the scene.
In October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 353 to reduce the number of cars police impound at roadway operations such as sobriety checkpoints. The law, approved by Brown on Oct. 9, prohibits police at checkpoints from seizing a car solely because the driver is unlicensed.