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September 22, 2009 09:19 PM UTC

Bad Idea, Made Even Worse

  • by: Colorado Pols

As the Denver Post reports:

A initiative on the November ballot aims to toughen Denver’s impound ordinance, guaranteeing that people caught driving without a license will end up paying a $2,500 bond to get the car out of the impound lot, even if a valid license is sitting at home on the counter…

The Denver vehicle impound law that voters passed last year was designed to keep unlicensed drivers off the road. It gives police officers the ability to use their discretion about whether to impound a car.

If this new initiative passes in November, police officers will be required to impound the car of every driver without a license.

City Council member Doug Linkhart said that city impound lots are overflowing with vehicles of people who cannot afford to get them out…

Linkhart said that Denver police officers are opposed to the law and the initiative.

“Their job, by definition, is discretion,” Linkhart said.

What this really comes back to is illegal immigrant hysterics, of course, but it’s still unusual to see this plainly counterproductive a measure make the ballot. Peter Boyles and half a dozen Minuteman crackpots may think this is a good idea, the rest of us have left our wallet on the counter enough times to know better. A measure drafted totally ignorant of its effects–the way only real crazies can draft them. Doug Bruce, call him what you will, knew what he was doing.

Between this overkill nonsense and Craig Silverman calling for people who “look like a Muslim” to have their “puchases tracked,” we think some serious getting of a grip is in order, folks.


16 thoughts on “Bad Idea, Made Even Worse

  1. If you read the ballot title, there is a provision to avoid impoundment in cases where the wallet was simply forgotten at home.

    This, however, does not negate the true insidiousness of the ballot measure: it creates a situation of encouraging pulling over folks for DWL (driving while Latino).

    The primary motivation for the ballot issue is to take cars away from illegal alines. However, to discover if the person is illegal or not, the cop would first have to pull over the person and start questioning the driver’s immigration status. Since the majority of Lation people living in Denver country were born in this country and are citizens by right of birth, I would hope reasonable people can see where this practice to extremely over the top.

    1. If you don’t have a DL with you, you probably don’t have any acceptable ID.  Are they supposed to keep you until you can get someone else to bring your ID from home?

      This is a ridiculous law by any stretch of the imagination.  I hope Denver voters wake up and smell what’s being peddled to them.

      1. Ya telling me that they can’t look up name, address, age, and see if there is a valid license?  Of course they can!  That’s how they bust people with suspended licenses.

        I got stopped in Nevada a few years ago for not being pulled completely off of US 50, “America’s Loneliest Highway,” I kid you not.  He was able to look up my CO registration which came up as “Expired” even though it says right on it that CO has a 30 day grace period.  

        Now I’m a wanted man in Nevada.  They can look up your license.

        1. So in this magic computer is there a current picture of me & my DL so that the officer can look at me and know i”m me?

          Otherwise, why wouldn’t I just provide a name and address that goes to a current DL?

          I mean we all know illegals are all liars already, right?

          1. It requires something with the name etc be provided, but I am not sure what all would be acceptable. The ballot title specific mentions proof of insurance (which most people keep in the glove box).

            Again, I agree the law is very bad, was just pointing out that there is some provision for those of us who are a little absent-minded sometimes.

  2. Didn’t he have a cow on air earlier this year when some poor jerk got his car impounded because he had no current license on him? And though Denver dropped the charges,there were fees the guy could not afford ?

    Face it- badly written legislation always has unintended consequences.  

    1. Yes, but that driver was an American. As I recall (frankly, I am not going to search for the story and give Peter Boyles any hits), it was a returned Iraqi veteran, and Boyles helped raise the money for the guy to get his car back.

      1. So Boyles was in favor of the law, though badly written and results in consequences he hates doesn’t man up and just admit that the law is almost impossible to enforce as he wishes.

  3. part of my job involves doing background checks on applicants for employment.  I’ve seen applicants with 5 and 6 DUIs who still have valid DLs.

    Colorado has a much bigger problem keeping DUI offenders off of the roads.  If the state is itching to impound some cars, how about starting with chronic DUI offenders?

  4. ..let’s just arrest all the brown people and be done with it!  We’re building a new Denver jail, right?  For what other purpose besides enforcing immigration law?  None, I say; lock ’em up!

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