Illinois Seizing Vehicles for DUI

Drunk drivers in Illinois may face stiffer penalties than tickets and license loss.  In an attempt to prevent driving under the influence be seizing vehiclesfrom repeat DUI offenders.

How does it work?

Based on a journal from the DuPage County Bar Association a person convicted of a DUI who is caught driving under the influence with a suspended license gives the sheriff’s office the right to seize their vehicle legally.  The following step for the sheriff’s department is to file a forfeiture document that allows the state to keep hold of the violators vehicle.  If a case can be proven by the authorities the vehicle will be able to be sold at auction, demolished or repurposed for the state.  Some vehicles have been seized by Illinois officials which are the only source of transport for families.  If this is the case the title would be transferred to the name of another family member than the accused.  This is called a spousal exception.

Repurposing seized vehicles

Some counties have taken to repurposing the vehicles seized to help outfit their fleet.  Will County has refitted three seized vehicles for law enforcement use.  In addition to their new use in the fleet Will County sheriff’s included “This vehicle was seized from a drunk driver” as a printed message on the rear bumper of these vehicles to spread the awareness of their efforts and help prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.

Sheriff’s from Will County hope their efforts spread a iron message that those who drink and drive may not only pay fines and lose their license but may have their vehicle seized as well.

Is is fair?

Some have stated the actions of Illinois police to be unconstitutional.  In the last two years the DuPage Bar Association has journaled about the constitutionality of the seizure law.  Reasons for claims of unconstitutionalism have come from the fact that as it stands there is no clear cut hearing for those who have had their vehicles seized.  Therefore owners are not able to explain reasoning for the seizure or to object the seizure.  Those convicted of DUI have the right to a hearing to dispute the charge but citizens are asking the same process be taken when it comes to vehicle seizures.