Monday, July 16, 2007


I’m not sure what’s happening in Elgin Illinois these days. It seems a bit of common sense has crept into the City Council Chambers.

For a couple of years now the city has had an ordinance that if your car stereo can be heard from 75 feet away, you can be stopped, ticketed, and your car towed. To be honest, we still hear the car stereos from a block away but I think it has been a little quieter as a result of the law.

Now, the city council has just passed a new law that they will hook your car if you are stopped for a DUI or no license. The fine is $250 PLUS towing and storage.

Other towns have $500 fines for the same offenses.

In true form, the police chief had exact figures for the impact of the new law. When a council member asked how many such violations were happening each month, she said, “A bunch.” (As long as the council tolerates a sloppy staff, they will get that kind of answers.)

I suppose the question is, “What do you have to do to get your car back?” Common sense would tell you that if it is a DUI, you get sober and pick up your car (unless you’ve lost your license altogether due to previous offenses).

But what about those towed for no license? Do they have to show up with a valid drivers license in order to get the car back? Or do they just have to bring along a friend who does have a license? Hmmm. I’ll have to see about that.

I remember a case a year ago where they towed a car for reckless driving. They also ticketed the driver for no insurance. Well, he got his car the next day and the release slip just said “insurance pending” where the policy number was supposed to be.

I certainly hope there are some teeth to this ordinance.

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