10/22/2007Illinois: Village to Seize Cars Over Aftermarket Mufflers
Rossville, Illinois is looking to seize cars that use aftermarket exhaust systems that may be louder than stock.
Automobiles with aftermarket exhaust systems may be seized if they pass through Rossville, Illinois and a police officer thinks the vehicle is making too much noise. The village will also authorize police to grab a vehicle if an unruly passenger "resists" an officer's commands. The ordinance was approved last week over the strong objection of
"If a kid has loud mufflers, give him a ticket; don't take his car," Trustee Dick Queen said, as reported by the News-Gazette newspaper. "I think it's wrong to punish the driver for what a passenger does."
Municipalities in Illinois have taken the lead in generating significant revenue through automobile seizure ordinances. Chicago seizes 25,000 cars every year. Cook County's car grabbing program earns the equivalent of $1.7 million a year.
The jurisdictions have also come up with a number of clever ways to accuse motorists of crimes meriting confiscation. Rockford and Peoria will seize cars with loud stereos. Oak Forest will seize the car of anyone accused of crimes like shoplifting that have nothing whatsoever to do with driving. In all jurisdictions, the seizure takes place upon a mere accusation by police -- not after any finding of guilt in a court of law. Kane County will even keep a confiscated car belonging to a motorist later found innocent.