Thursday, November 09, 2006

Beating People When They're Down

I think this is a bunch of crap. Seems like Eureka P.D. is hanging out in traffic court. When someone's drivers license is suspended, they follow him and see if he gets in his car. If he does, they stop him and seize his car.

Hey, I don't have a problem with suspending people's licenses, but can't they at least let the guy drive his car home? If he's at the courthouse he's most likely in time limited parking and he can't just leave it there.

I know a lot of these guys go ahead and drive with suspended licenses. They can always catch him driving later.

I guess it's not just in Eureka, either. Today's Santa Rosa Press- Democrat reports on the same thing going on in Sonoma County. At least one difference in the cases they report on is that some of the people they stopped had driven to the courthouse with their licenses already under suspension.

I can see how that would be a legitimate concern of the police and courts, but still, this seems like adding insult to injury.

I'm not an open- borders libertarian, but you have to feel some sympathy for guys who'll likely lose their cars since the impoundment fee will be more than their cars are worth, and likely don't have the money to pay impoundment fees anyway. On top of that, many of these people can't get drivers licenses because of their immigration status. These guys are really stuck.

I don't know what the answer is to dealing with unlicensed drivers but, at least in Eureka, they should let them take their cars home after they get their license suspended.

54 Comments:

At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They do that in Nebraska as well. The court system across the country has turned into a revenue stream for the local government, nothing more. It's no longer about justice, only about money.

 
At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree with you more Fred.

As a fellow Libertarian I am opposed to, well...almost evrything. However, why pick on the bottom 1/2 percent of our community who are already down on their luck. The end result is that it is far easier for EPD to catch a thief at the courthouse than to actually go about what they are trained to do.

And...this is not about our police, who I have much respect for. They don't set out each day looking for the easiest avenue to arrest people. This is a ridiculous mandate by some bumbling Jackass at the regional level, attempting to prey on the one part of society who can least protect themselves.

When they most need a break, we tear them down a little more.

Wow, I am starting to sound like a liberal.

 
At 9:51 AM, Blogger Rose said...

Either the law means something or it doesn't. If losing your license means you are not allowed to drive, then, Fred, really, anyone who gets in their car to drive it home is an idiot. But, yes, there ought to be some provision for letting them get their car home. Seizing it is wrong.

Seems to me driving ought to be a right, not a privilege - When the constitution was written, people had freedom of egress - horses, wagons, etc. I doubt the founders ever imagined cars, and licenses that would restrict a person's right to get around.

But - you do need to be able to get bad drivers, drunk drivers, etc. off the road because of the safety factor.

Something to consider.

 
At 10:04 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Oh agreed, although I won't get into the right vs. privilege argument. I'm rather agnostic on the issue but followed an argument between some other libertarians on the issue and it got nowhere, for DAYS.

I know some people that I don't think should be driving. Had a brother- in- law that I'd consider a reckless driver. He'd gotten tickets up the whazoo in his life, but only a few of them stuck.

He'd take them to court and often, especially if the citing officer didn't show up, would beat them.

I know he had his license suspended at least once, and he still kept driving, thinking the duplicate license he had stored away would keep him out of trouble. Never got caught, though.

I never said anything, but I'd kind of wished he'd really get nailed sometime. He finally ended up getting a pretty bad exhibition speeding ticket he was really worried about.

He hired a lawyer to take care of it for him. Beat the ticket once again.

Scary.

 
At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! I couldn't disagree with you more Fred. If your license is suspended, don't get in a car. Call a taxi. Plan ahead and have someone drive you. If you're dumb enough to *continue* breaking the law, I'm glad your car is seized. I hope you stay off the road. Thank you for letting me know EPD does this. Finally someone is doing something about people who have no business being on the road.

 
At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right, 10:15 AM.

Fred, why do you think a court takes away these people's licenses? isn't it for serious offenses against the safety of the public?


If your child had been killed or injured by a drunk driver, Fred, you might be less casual about drunk drivers climbing back behind the wheel of a car again.

I'm glad the Eureka Police Department is doing the job of protecting the people.

 
At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or maybe they should wait until the guy who's still driving on a suspended gets into his car *drunk*. They can follow him around at taxpayers expense for a day or two or three until he's really screwing up.

Then the cop can get into a highspeed chase with a drunk driver instead of the easy pickins outside the courthouse where this 'driver' was just turned into a 'pedestrian'...

It would give you and the papers more to write about!

NOT WITH MY TAX DOLLARS-I'll take the easy pickens instead!

 
At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, its not that you have bad ideas... It just that you open you mouth before thinking.

 
At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred,

The problem is that you have people who frequently appear in court when they have been charged with driving on a suspended license who also drive away. Many people have mulitiple cases or many priors for the same thing. These are people who are suspended for REASONS, like drunk driving, or for accidents. These are people who need to do something to attempt to ensure public safety before these people hit the road again.

You probably also don't like illegal aliens being charged with driving with no license, but guess what-they don't know the rules of the road and usually have no insurance.

These rules are in place for reasons.

 
At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred - why should they be allowed to go home with their vehicle when they aren't licensed or insured? Or when they haven't been for years and continue to drive...or when they have already gotten in an accident and the poor schmuck they hit (like you or me) has to pay for it cause they don't follow the rules.

I wish they would have started doing this YEARS AGO

 
At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Consider yourself lashed with wet noodles Freddie!

 
At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, you deserve every bit of the hammering you are getting on this.

Most of these people are suspended for driving while drunk, and most are repeat offenders. They should lose their licenses period, lose the car, go live where they can use mass transit.

This move is way way way overdue, and the only way to make it better would be to bring them to court and immediately lock them up, no bail, for violating their o.r. and for violating a court order.

 
At 12:02 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Some of you need some work on your reading comprehension. Didn't I say I didn't have a problem with bad drivers getting their license suspended?

 
At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know a lot of these guys go ahead and drive with suspended licenses. They can always catch him driving later.

I can see how that would be a legitimate concern of the police and courts, but still, this seems like adding insult to injury.

I don't know what the answer is to dealing with unlicensed drivers but, at least in Eureka, they should let them take their cars home after they get their license suspended.


YOU BLEW IT FRED!

 
At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time to say ouch!

 
At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If your going to court to lose your license don't you think you should have a back up plan to get home????

Make it sting! I say bust em!

 
At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's two-faced Fred. You want bad drivers to lose their license, but when they resume driving without a license you whine about cars being impounded. You can't have it both ways.

 
At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And don't stick your head in a bucket Fred! Take it like a man and admit you totally blew it.

 
At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred- I adore you and if these guys got their licenses pulled they do not get to DRIVE home, or drive to the store, or drive anywhere else.

Often these people have had their licenses suspended for years and keep driving.

Sorry you got it wrong this time.

 
At 1:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred I swear everytime I come read here, you have something new and dumb to say.

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger Rose said...

No, Fred's right - there ought to be a provision that allows them to drive their car home, with an incentive to have an alternate driver in the form of a reduced fee. Sooner or later, though, there's have to be stiffer penalties if they continued to ignore the law, and the ruling against them.

But I can see his point - similar to the people who have junk cars to get rid of.

But again, either the law means something or it doesn't. If they are driving right after thier license is supended, they're apt to keep driving like the guy you described, Fred.

 
At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Rose - this time you and Fred are both wrong. The fact of the matter is that most of these people had a suspended license when they came to court to begin with.

Others, are facing convictions for DUI and have been told that their licenses will be suspended and to have an alternate driver there when they are sentenced.

The thing here is that there was no suprises for this driver when he walked out of the courtroom.

 
At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat article:

Jorge Morales Salgado, 33, of Sebastopol was one of the unlucky few who drove themselves to court despite not having proper driver's licenses.

thats what I meant....he drove himself TO court without a license.

continuing...

Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Doug Schlief, who supervised the half-day sting, said statistics show that most hit-and-run crashes are caused by drivers who are unlicensed or who have had their driving privileges suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

This is an epidemic and the people out there driving without licenses, insurance etc. are causing problems...

They are not like Fred and Rose who are responsible.

 
At 2:24 PM, Blogger Rose said...

True.
I agree with Fred that it would be nice to show some compassion, but I can see the point that letting them go back out and drive may result in them hitting someone else. And that, once the law says no driving, it's stupid to turn a blind eye to blatant disregard for that decision.

 
At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some people need to develop new coping skills for dealing with authority. Instead of thinking 'oh the courts/cops are mean they don't want me to drive anymore'...

How about thinking instead 'I have been a bad driver/drunk driver/suspended driver, now I have to find alternate forms of transportation: Bus, walk, rides from friends.

Agreed that incentives for good behavior might help.

 
At 2:40 PM, Blogger Fred said...

2:22 wrote, "thats what I meant....he drove himself TO court without a license.".

I believe I pointed that out in my original post.

2:22 wrote, "This is an epidemic and the people out there driving without licenses, insurance etc. are causing problems...".

I don't know how much of an epidemic this really is, but I know some of these folks are big time repeat "offenders". I had a customer that got hit by some guy without insurance. I don't remember if it was a hit and run because they knew who the guy was. It was something like the fifth accident he was involved in and still didn't have insurance.

Maybe we should bring back debtor's prisons?

2pm wrote, "No Rose - this time you and Fred are both wrong.".

Nope. You're wrong. Myself and anyone who agrees with me is right.

 
At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good idea Fred. A debtor prison where you are put to work. Once people in the Pacific Rim countries demand living wages, we can bring manufacturing jobs back to America. We can build a big box and a jail right next to each other. Sell cheap handmade good, made right next door. It's a plan we could implement across the country. Let's start with the Balloon Tract. We'll finally move the Pink House out of the downtown.

The idea of a debtor prison is interesting though. Once upon a time people were expected to pay their debts. Today we encourage debt. You're not a good consumer without debt.

 
At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with 2PM Fred

"No Rose - this time you and Fred are both wrong. The fact of the matter is that most of these people had a suspended license when they came to court to begin with.

Others, are facing convictions for DUI and have been told that their licenses will be suspended and to have an alternate driver there when they are sentenced.

The thing here is that there was no surprises for this driver when he walked out of the courtroom."


As a woman who lived with a repeat offender 9 years ago it was the case then-those letters from the court state emphatically that the appearance may require license forfeiture. Also that an alternate driver is necessary and the license will be handed over to a clerk of the court.

I lived with this long term. Having to pick him up at the bars or cabs coming home with him-leaving my car on 2nd st. He drove constantly and only had a license for a few weeks during our 8 years together. He Never was insured.

I learned not to argue with a drunk. I learned by moving out of town.

He had to go to classes-but he was told by his friends to eat peanuts to mask the smell of alcohol and he did get away with going to the driving classes under the influence. Its a tragedy waiting to happen.

 
At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't Alexander Hamilton thrown into debtors prison?

 
At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred - we need to agree to disagree on this one. 3:07 is absolutely right...

I think you are looking at this like..."what if it were me" which is understandable. The fact of the matter is that it would not be you.

 
At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here people advise police to look the other way when lawbreakers repeatedly violate vehicle laws.

And I wonder.

Is there a difference between Libertarians and Anarchists?

If so, what are those differences?

It seems to me that ignoring or subverting our laws isn't a very sturdy political platform.

 
At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add-on to 3:07

And before you start blaming me that I let him drive-there's a whole relationship dynamic you just don't want to get into. It isn't the point at all.

The main thing is there are hundreds of unlicensed driver's running around in Humboldt County. Catching a few as they go out of the courtroom isn't going to get near the iceberg.

But it sends a message!

 
At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How’s this? License revoked, goes into effect at midnight. A provisional license is printed by the court and is good until midnight that day.

 
At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most people are already suspended by DMV before they even go to court.

 
At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about take their damn car away so they don't drive unlicensed anymore!

 
At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some people just are too thick!

Driver on a suspended license walks into court AFTER driving to the courthouse...gets another slap on the wrist (paperwork to suspend license AGAIN)

Leaves court, gets in car, drives off! What part of He don't got NO LICENSE do you NOT understand?

 
At 5:21 PM, Blogger Fred said...

4:24 wrote, "How’s this? License revoked, goes into effect at midnight. A provisional license is printed by the court and is good until midnight that day."

That would be a good interim measure, assuming they're not repeat offenders.

4:36 wrote, "Most people are already suspended by DMV before they even go to court.".

That doesn't sound good: The DMV deciding who's no eligible for a license, before that person goes to court. Again, if this is a repeat offender, it's a different issue.

 
At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, you can appeal to DMV if you are exonerated. Like many posters before me-quit personalizing this to be about you. It isn't.

 
At 5:36 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Nope. It is about you and me.

To suggest that it's always about someone else is nonsense.

And I haven't had a traffic ticket in over 30 years, at least that I can recall.

You seem to be referring to "THEM".

 
At 5:38 PM, Blogger Rose said...

I hear you 5:13. Those are good points.

 
At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred has been shitfaced all day. In fact he only writes on here when he is shitfaced and found an idea that makes him giggle.

 
At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I know one thing now. I don't want Fred on the road.

 
At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an EX co-dependent, I was not referring to anyone as 'them'. I was telling you from personal experience you can't cut offenders any slack-and you Rose know how much slack they've been getting.

Whatever it takes to keep unlicensed drivers off the road-go for it!

 
At 6:27 PM, Blogger Fred said...

5:48 wrote, "Fred has been shitfaced all day. In fact he only writes on here when he is shitfaced and found an idea that makes him giggle.".

Indeed. I am like SOOO drunk now. Thanks for bringing that up.

 
At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
How about take their damn car away so they don't drive unlicensed anymore!

5:09 PM

GREAT IDEA.

Now find a political leader willing to tick off the drunk driver/voters to implement it.

 
At 8:42 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Okay, I didn't what we were talking about on my blog. I agree that it's kind of creepy for them to follow him out of the building. One hour to get his affairs in order seems fair, unless he comes to court drunk.

 
At 10:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy crap! What next? Is Rose going to tell us Tim Stoen isn't really that bad?

I could barely make it through this one. Glad a few folks still have all their marbels, well at least most of them.

The guy, dude, driver, suspect or whatever you call him is either completely stupid or has no respect for the judge, the system, the rule of law or whatever you may call it. This is amazing.

I'm glad they towed his car, screw him. His license was suspended for a reason, had an accident with no insurance, durnk driving, hit and run, 9 speeding tickets.

Most drivers from hit and run accidents have suspended licenses and NO insurance. Who pays then?

Eric gets my vote for the biggest idiot of the day ...... "creepy" ?!?!?!?!?!.

What would really be "creepy" is seeing Eric in a pair of Speedos!

 
At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was in Jr. High or High SchooL my buddy's Dad gave me some good advice; NEVER hit a man when he's down ....... kick him, it's easier>

 
At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:35 Don't make it personal with Eric and speedos ok? We don't need the visuals!

Remember too that Eric is a Defense Attorney-his brain is shaped a certain way and its really hard for him to accept that the bad guys have to lose.

Something to think about when we vote for the next DA!

 
At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Eric a defense attorney? Has Eric taken any any high profile criminal case to trial? Any medium profile criminal case to trial? How about just a misdomeaner case to jury trial ?

Eric is a socialist ? Among other things.

 
At 4:09 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

To answer, I do some criminal but I'm primarily a civil attorney. Had one criminal trial about 7 years ago in Mendo county. Got a defense verdict, for what it's worth.

No "high profile" criminal cases. A couple of civil cases got some media attention if that's what you're asking.

 
At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess that means the answer is no?

 
At 12:50 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

To the first two questions. I have taken a misdemeanor to trial (and won, but who's keeping score). Well, two, but in the second case the DA settled with me as the jury pool was literally filing into the room. Annoying.

 
At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow you're some kind of Perry Mason Erwic! Dat y U soo cmartt !

 

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