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Illinois: Chicago Suburbs Begin Car Seizures for Cash
Kane County, Illinois ramps up automobile seizures from those accused of DUI.

Seized car
After recent legislative changes, prosecutors and police in Kane County, Illinois have ramped up their automobile seizure program. As many as five vehicles a week are being taken under new guidelines allowing confiscation from anyone accused of driving under the influence of alcohol and a secondary offense such as not bringing along a driver's license. Even if the motorist is later found not guilty of both charges in a court of law, police in the Chicago suburb can still keep the vehicle.

"Now we're going after everything, whether it's a small amount of money or a large amount of money," Kane County State's Attorney John Barsanti told the Aurora Beacon News. "We're expecting this to get really big for us."

The program uses civil procedures to seize property from motorists even when they are found innocent. The civil court system only needs probable cause supported by circumstantial evidence to sidestep constitutional protections such as the prohibition on excessive fines and double jeopardy.

Source: Kane drunk drivers could lose their car (Aurora Beacon News (IL), 9/6/2006)

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