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Immigrants' Rights Advocates Applaud LAPD's New Policy for Vehicle Impounding at DUI Checkpoints

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Last week, the Los Angeles Police Department announced a new policy for handling the impounding of vehicles operated by unlicensed drivers who encounter the Department's sobriety and drivers license checkpoints. As a result, immigrants' rights groups are praising the LAPD, reports ABC7, though they believe "more needs to be done."

The LAPD's new policy dictates that if they discover an unlicensed driver at a checkpoint their officers will try to determine who the registered owner of the vehicle is, and if that person is present, the vehicle will be released to them. If the registered owner is also unlicensed, the owner can authorize release of the vehicle to a licensed driver at the scene, and the unlicensed driver will be issued a citation. In the event there is no licensed driver present who can accept the vehicle, then the vehicle will be impounded.

Yesterday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck met with members of the Southern California Immigration Coalition to discuss these changes. They believe that the previous policy--impound the vehicle if it is being operated by an unlicensed sober driver--"unfairly punished undocumented immigrants who can't get licenses."