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Vehicle Impoundment - how many so far?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Vehicle Impoundment - how many so far?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
May 2, 2012

When I read the Police Blotter this week in The Woodstock Independent, I found four arrests that would have qualified for impoundment of their vehicles. You may recall that the Woodstock City Council quietly passed the vehicle impoundment ordinance on January 17, 2012. It did so without fanfare and without announcement to the public.

Information about the proposed ordinance was delivered to the Council members in their packets, and then they voted unanimously to approve the ordinance in the Consent Agenda, without any type of discussion. The City has never announced that ordinance to the public.

For a list of certain criminal and traffic violations, an officer can write another ticket and grab the vehicle, whether or not the driver owns the vehicle. The ticket carries a $500.00 fine, and it must be paid before the vehicle is released. Also, of course, the towing charge (estimated at $100-150) and daily storage fees (estimated at $40) must be paid. If release of the car is desired before the court date, a $500.00 bond can be posted.

Those Vehicle Impoundment citations likely will never appear in the Independent or the Northwest Herald, because these papers report only the tickets that cause violators to appear in McHenry County Circuit Court.

The vehicle impoundment citations are settled in in Woodstock's own Administrative Adjudication Court, where all the bucks stay right here in Woodstock. "All the bucks" being a $500 fine and court costs (estimated by me at $100-200 per citation).

In the Police Blotter in the May 2-8 edition of the local weekly paper were the following "qualifying" arrests:

A 51-year-old Woodstock man charged April 20 with DUI.
A 34-year-old Woodstock woman charged April 21 with driving while license was suspended.
A 21-year-old Woodstock man charged April 21 with driving without a license.
A 63-year-old Woodstock woman charged April 26 with driving without a valid driver's license.

Were all four vehicle towed?

Woodstock Police Chief Robert Lowen estimated in a January 3rd letter that 50 vehicles per year would be towed. At last week's rate, it would take 12 weeks to hit the 50-mark. At last week's rate, 208 vehicles will be towed in the next 12 months, for a total take of $104,000, plus court costs.

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