LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Los Angeles police say they are changing rules for impounding cars of unlicensed drivers at sobriety checkpoints, after criticism that the department was targeting illegal immigrants.
Chief Charlie Beck tells the Los Angeles Times that he eased the rules after immigrant rights groups brought up the issue in recent meetings.
Previous protocols called for officers at checkpoints to impound a car whenever the driver did not have a valid license — whether or not the driver was drunk.
Under the new guidelines, police will attempt to contact the registered owner of a stopped vehicle, and if that owner is a licensed driver who can respond to the checkpoint in a “reasonable period,” the car will be released to them. The unlicensed driver will still be cited.
KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz talked with Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) Director Tina Pasco, who expressed concern over the policy change.
Pasco said LAPD Assistant Chief Michel Moore assured her that drivers with suspended or revoked licenses for impaired driving would not be offered the same opportunity to have a driver pick them up.
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