Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Riverside County Sheriff's Department reverses impound policy

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has reversed a decision by local authorities to give unlicensed drivers an opportunity to avoid losing their vehicles at DUI checkpoints.

The department's Indio station, which patrols the city of Coachella and other cities in eastern Riverside County, had agreed in February to give unlicensed drivers at DUI checkpoints 30 minutes to find a legal driver to avoid an impound.

But sheriff's officials said last week that they would not give unlicensed drivers the extra time.

The change followed several months of meetings among city officials, sheriff's officials and representatives from local churches.

Sheriff’s officials said in a statement that any future changes to its vehicle impound policy would be done “equally and uniformly across the motoring public and the communities [the department] serves."

"Vehicle impounds at traffic checkpoints would also be treated exactly the same as lawful impounds resulting from [on-site] violations,” the statement continued.

Capt. Raymond Gregory, who oversaw the changes at the Indio station, referred all calls to Chief Deputy Rod Vigue, who is in charge of East County patrol operations. Vigue was not immediately available for comment.

“It’s a unilateral decision that doesn’t reflect the leaders’ response to the community’s pain on this issue,” said Yvonna Cazares, an organizer with Inland Congregations United for Change, which pushed the changes in the Coachella Valley.

She added that people concerned about the issue were still hoping to meet with the sheriff to discuss the policy change.


LAPD Chief Charlie Beck: Changing controversial rules for impounding cars was 'right thing to do'

-- Paloma Esquivel

Comments () | Archives (7)

It works for me.

If only LAPD would follow suit.

At least there's some sanity in some SoCal law enforcement agencies.

We all know exactly what will happen. The unlicensed driver will us is lifeline and "phone a friend" with a license who will come out and driver the car around the block. Then get out of the drivers seat and hand the keys over to the unlicensed driver who will drive away. But I guess they realized that if the driver they just cited for driving without a license kills or inures someone 33 minutes later they would get sued for tens of millions.

Hell, impound them, make the driver prove they have a license, insurance and registration before turning the car back over to them. None of this "turn it over to a licensed driver".

If I would have known this I would have hung out by these checkpoints and tell the people who were caught that I'd take their car and move it somewhere safe for $100. Then when they come up with the $100 I'd tell 'em where the care is parked. Nice little cottage industry I've created... huh. I probably cound have made a couple of thousand a night at that checkpoint, lol.

I am wondering why there is a reluctance to enforce the law when it comes to illegal immigrants. Chief Beck has pretty much sat on his badge, under his watch there has been ZERO major activity, even though everyone knows LA is the hub of organized crime, hate crimes, employment discrimination, illegal immigration, gangs, drugs, prostitution, human trafficking, car theft, property theft, witness intimidation, tagging, and enforcement corruption.

We know Mayor Antonio is the worst mayor the city has every had, but I always thought law enforcement put its oath of duty above everything else. How can you protect and serve, and not enforce the law?

I think the chief should step down, let someone that will clean up the force, bad cops must go, and get down to serious investigation, infiltration, disruption, and prosecution in LA, Mexico is in the mess its in today, because of the same, See no evil, hear no evil techniques the chief is taking today.

He was not elected, so he can't be impeached, he already has his pension written in stone so he has nothing to lose by standing down, but his legacy will suffer for years to come.

I'm a US citizen and have a valid license. Works for me too.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: