Cars seized after Nassau DWI arrests

In a controversial move, Nassau police are now seizing the vehicles of anyone arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

After police make an arrest and seize the accused driver's vehicle, a hearing will determine if the county can hold the vehicle until the criminal case reaches a conclusion. If a conviction takes place, the county can move to claim ownership of the vehicle through forfeiture.

Drunken driving advocates told News 12 they support the idea.

"I think it's a good message to send to the public, that Nassau County is very serious about getting drunk drivers off the road," said Marge Lee, president of DEDICATEDD.

Others are calling the tactic unconstitutional, since the punishment is handed down before any conviction is assessed.

"Generally, punishment in this society does not occur on a simple allegation, and for most people that's exactly what this is," said defense attorney Brian Griffin.

Griffin is considering a legal challenge to Nassau's process. He also says the county's motivation for the tactic may not be based solely on public safety, but to generate revenue.

In response to Griffin's claim, Nassau County attorney Carnell Foskey said, "Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is irresponsible and providing an offender with their vehicle back puts the entire public in danger."


sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."