Nearly nine months later and it was all just a big mistake – or was it?
The city of Albuquerque recently returned Arlene Harjo’s 2014 Nissan Versa it had confiscated in April, when her son borrowed it and was arrested for DWI. The city took the car under an ordinance that allows seizing vehicles when the person driving has a second or subsequent DWI arrest or is driving on a suspended or revoked license.
The Albuquerque ordinance relies on the premise the vehicle represents a nuisance and the suspected drunken driver a danger to public safety. In a state with one of the highest DWI rates in the nation – 11th-worst for alcohol-involved fatalities, according to a new report by CarInsuranceComparison.com – keeping people from driving under the influence is a serious concern. That’s especially true of repeat drunken drivers.
That’s why a case can be made for confiscating property in select cases from those not convicted and sometimes not even charged with a crime.