'The Fight for the Right to Drive'

Maybe because it was so long ago, I did not sign anything about obeying laws when I got my drivers license. When I started driving tractor-trailer all I needed to do Is pay 25 cents to convert my drivers license to a chauffeurs license. No Test.
You actually can’t obey all traffic laws in all states.

For example in California you cannot obey all their car pollution laws if you are from a state that doesn’t have smog checks. NY has a law that to haul coils of steel you have to take a test when you renew your license about how to properly secure them and have that endorsement on your license. No other state has that law and it cannot be enforced against out of state drivers. It is a very stupid law because it was passed long after almost all the steel coils are no longer being made in NY State.

I am sick of the all encompassing nanny state. How about Civil Forfeiture ? If police SUSPECT you of being a drug dealer, they cab seize your car, house, boat or plane, never arrest you and they don’t have to give them back unless you successfully sue them and even if you win, you don’t get your attorney fees. No due process at all. Oh, the agency that seizes the property gets to use or sell it and keep the money. No motive for abuse there, right?

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That’s slowly getting weeded out as public awareness increases, and it can’t happen soon enough. It turns cops into a government-sanctioned mafia, literally stealing from innocent citizens.

One woman lost her house because a relative hid drugs. The woman had no idea the drugs were there until the cops, acting on a tip, searched.

This guy lost his brand new F-250 because he forgot he had 5 bullets in it. No gun. Just bullets, and because (this is where it gets really weird) guns are illegal in Mexico, US border patrol seized his truck on the basis of “illegal exportation.”

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Yeah the forfeiture laws started out as a good idea and then went south in a hurry. They absolutely are legal theft and the Supremes really should have been more forceful. Maybe they will yet. Nothing should be held or confiscated without a formal charge and/or sustained in court. Then again there is a fair amount of unwinding needed in the courts too as well as local prosecutors gone wild. Simply because I like cash should not be a presumption of guilt of drug crimes any more than having the cash in a debit card.


…only for those of us who didn’t notice from the start that due process was being subverted, or for those who noticed and didn’t care because they didn’t expect to be personally affected.

It was only a good idea to those who had no concept of history and were willing to trust the government with unchecked power. Anyone with any foresight or understanding of history saw this coming from the start.

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@Bing can correct me if I’m wrong here, but the way I took that sentence, it meant that in concept, seizing assets that are proven to have been used in criminal activity and which actually belong to the criminal in question isn’t a bad idea. If you are found guilty of using your car to transport kidnapped children, it’s just fine to say that in addition to jail time, you also lose your car.

However, the way it’s actually applied, any asset that might potentially at some point, maybe, have been used for criminal activity can be stolen by the police,even if it doesn’t belong to the person that supposedly might have committed a crime with it, and even if there’s absolutely no evidence that a crime was ever committed.

I’d take issue with even that, because it creates a conflict of interest, an incentive to pin a crime on someone who has a nice car.

If they want to impound the car, put it up for public auction after the kidnapper has been found guilty and sentenced, and put that money into the general fund or treasury, I could live with that, but if you give the police the authority to directly seize the car and add it to their fleet, without having to expend any of their budget in the process, you’re creating an incentive for corruption, and you’re effectively combining the jobs of purchasing, receiving, and accounts payable into a single department, maybe even a single person in a small department.

Smart organizations separate the functions accounts payable, accounts receivable, purchasing, and receiving to make it harder to steal. Having to collude with others makes it harder to steal. In fact, every example of theft I’ve seen in the workplace has been made easier by combining one or more of these functions under one person.

It’s a fine line I guess, but I’m not necessarily in agreement with forfeiture at all, guilty or not. I think it goes beyond what the courts are able to level on a guilty person. Fines, court costs, jail time, OK, but I’m not into confiscation I guess. Maybe they snuck the law by while I was sleeping but don’t remember ever voting for it. Then again I’ll confess being asleep at the switch.

It goes way back as far as I can remember though starting with the DNR (Natural Resources), involving hunting and fishing violations. They could take your guns, car, etc. without much recourse. My dad was always very careful in making sure we did everything absolutely legally. But still we had several encounters with the DNR folks. One was with my uncle who didn’t hunt much but instead of having a store-bought plug in his gun for duck hunting, had put a stick in it. Even showing the DNR that you couldn’t get more than three shells in the gun, he didn’t like the stick and threatened to confiscate all of our guns. He finally backed off but really left a taste in my mouth. Why is a dowel with a metal flange on the end better than a stick? This was like 1961. Then there was the fishing with two lines about 5 in the morning waiting for a buddy to show up at the ice house. Simply unreeling a line in the water with no bait so it would be ready, constituted fishing with two lines. Sadly shortly after that the guy was killed in a train accident. I knew his daughter and fostered no ill will but just thought it was power gone amok. Yeah I guess I would just vote no, kidnapping or hunting.

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I should have clarified – The government doesn’t get to sell the car, or use it for a DARE mobile. They have to crush it. Whether they pull over a Yugo or a Lambo, it’s going to the crusher, at government expense. That’ll eliminate the conflict of interest.

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Yeah, send me a government Lambo! :laughing:

I will crush it carefully around the engine compartment. Then I’ll be asking you guys how to swap a Lambo engine into a K5 Blazer. :wink:

Side story - years ago with a different company, we were asked to crush several new vehicles by the manufacturer, as some of their reps watched and took photos to document the destruction of the vehicles. I noticed the guy on the crane was handling the 4 corners of the car rather gingerly, while he smashed the center of the car to a height of a foot or less. I found out later he was saving the new tires for his girlfriend’s car. I couldn’t get upset. That’s recycling at it’s finest. Less landfill anyway. A win/win!


I cannot think of anything that better exemplifies “Unreasonable search and seizure” than civil forfiture.