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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Reprinted from today's Journal News

Those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or engaging in speed contests or drag races in Westchester County will have to surrender their vehicles under a law that went into effect Wednesday. The law, enacted by the Board of Legislators in October 2009, only applies to convictions stemming from arrests by county police. The implementation is designed to help curb holiday season DWI incidents. The Westchester County website says there has seen a steady increase in DWI or DUI arrests in the past four years.

Be careful
 

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Just wondering, what happens to the cars? Is it sold at auction and then owner receives whatever the car was sold for or is the owner S.O.L.
 

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the driving under influence/drugs is good...but what constitutes speed contests? bs
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just wondering, what happens to the cars? Is it sold at auction and then owner receives whatever the car was sold for or is the owner S.O.L.
I have not seen the Westchester law. From my experience under the NYC DWI law, the City brings a legal action to forfeit the car, then sells it at auction. They can only take the car if the driver is also the owner. The owner loses the car, gets no money, and is stuck paying any outstanding loan. There's a loophole, if you lease the car. The leasing company can get the car back, if they promise not to give it back to you. Of course, like everything else in the legal system, there are exceptions, on a case by case basis.

Bottom line, be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
the driving under influence/drugs is good...but what constitutes speed contests? bs
I haven't seen the law. But, I don't believe simply driving fast with a friend or during a rally would qualify as a contest. Especially in a rally, there are many ways to demonstrate there was no contest, no winner, no benefit to driving faster than someone else.

Edit: It also prohibits engaging in "an exhibition of speed", which eliminates the contest elements. So, it may, indeed, be possible to lose your car for driving fast in a group of 2 or more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did some additional research and found this. The law

* Contains an “innocent owner” affirmative defense, which is intended to stop forfeiture of a vehicle when the owner did not have actual knowledge that the vehicle would be used in violation
* Authorizes the County Attorney to commence civil actions for forfeiture of vehicles when operated by a person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs or found to be participating in drag racing and is arrested by any Westchester County police officers on county roads
* Contains a provision which expressly permit lessors and lien holders of vehicles to recover such vehicles if seized by the county
* Contains a “hardship relief” provision, allowing relief from forfeiture, in cases in which the defendant can establish that such forfeiture would impose substantial and unwarranted burdens on the defendant’s ability to travel to employment, school or medical treatment. Such hardship relief could be subject to terms and conditions, including installation of an ignition interlock device in the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Guess that means no more charity runs through westchester..
I'm afraid you may be right. I'm going to keep looking into this. I live in Westchester and organize a charity run. This could really suck. It seems the key is going to be avoiding roads patrolled by the County Police. The law only applies if you are arrested by the County Police. So, state roads, like the Sprain Parkway or I-95, which are patrolled by State Troopers, are not subject to the new law.
 

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Hey Jalpa!

Guys it doesn't mean there can't be any charity runs through Westchester.. As long as people are not driving crazy then there will be no PD interaction. Both me and some friends have never been pulled over by County.. and I'm talking driving everyday not speeding.. they seem to be spread out all over and If anything I see them only once in a blue moon on the Saw Mill.
 

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Well i guess we wont be rallying thru that town anymore. I was doing wel over 100 mph on the way out of there a couple months ago lol
 

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Note to self: Don't drive through Westchester with other fast cars.
 

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it sounds like a smart law with the dwi bit in there since that is a defined offence. but the drag racing or what not is way to vague.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
it sounds like a smart law with the dwi bit in there since that is a defined offence. but the drag racing or what not is way to vague.
I agree. The racing part seems like a very subjective standard. I read that this new Westchester law is based on laws already in effect in Nassau and Suffolk. I haven't had time to check whether they have the racing language, or just DWI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I was able to confirm that Suffolk has a similar law authorizing forfeiture in the case of racing. I'm not sure when it was enacted. But it is definitely on the books.

http://gcp.esub.net/cgi-bin/om_isapi.dll?clientID=282821&advquery=speed%20contest&infobase=suffolk.nfo&rank=&record={838115DB.58BF8018.598380.0}&softpage=Browse_Frame_Pg42&zz=
 
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