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WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2007
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Impounding law coming before Athens council
Police may get authority to seize vehicles from unlicensed drivers

By Holly Hollman
hhollman@decaturdaily.com 340-2445

ATHENS — If you get behind the wheel without a driver license, get ready to kiss those wheels goodbye.

The Athens City Council introduced an ordinance Tuesday that, if approved, will give police the authority to impound your vehicle if an officer catches you driving without a license.

The council will vote on the ordinance June 11.

There are exceptions to impoundment, such as a medical emergency or if a family member in the car has a valid license.

Officers also must make "a reasonable attempt" to verify the driver is licensed even if the driver does not have the license with him.

The city does not have an impound lot, so police will use wrecker services on a rotation basis, which officers do now for wrecks.

The owner is responsible for paying towing and storage costs.

If the owner does not claim the vehicle in 60 days, the wrecker service or city can sell the vehicle at a public auction.

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