After seizing a mans car recently, the Mammoth Police and the Mono District Attorneys office plan to get more aggressive when it comes to people who drive without a license. Drug cases usually come to mind when the government seizes private property, but state law allows the court to take a persons car and auction it off, if that person is found to habitually drive without a license.
Assistant Mono District Attorney Kyle Graham reports the court recently seized a 97 Honda Accord from Modesto resident Erick Palmerin who had a half dozen prior convictions for driving on a suspended license.
The seized car will then be auctioned off. Mammoth Police Officer Frank Smith reports that the money raised will mostly got to the state, though some of the money raised can be used to pay court and impound fees. If there is any money left over, it goes to the PD for equipment
Law enforcement officers say that someone without a license who gets in a car accident often fleas the scene, according to Officer Smith. He also explained that officers usually cite and release a person for driving without a license, and the cited person often pays the impound fee, gets their car back and continues to drive without a license.
Another reason cited for the aggressive enforcement is the burden on the court system. Driving on a suspended license or driving without a license are two common charges that fill up the court calendar each week.
So who are the people that get cited for driving without a license? Officer Smith reports that some are from out of the country and cant get licenses, others have moved from out of state and have not yet done the paperwork to get a California DL, but by far Smith says that most of the offenders have DUI convictions.
Officer Smith says that it takes a lot of extra paperwork for the court to seize a vehicle. Wed much rather have people obey the law, he says.