Juneau Assembly approves DWI impoundment

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) Driving drunk in Juneau will mean losing a car or truck for three business days under an ordinance approved by the Juneau Assembly.

''Before a driver even gets in the car, this serves as a deterrent,'' said Cindy Cashen, executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Before the ordinance was passed, Juneau police could release a vehicle to a responsible party on the day of the offense.

''This will hold people accountable, and see that they don't go out and re-offend in that vehicle,'' said police Capt. Tom Porter.

Retrieving a car from the impound lot after three days costs $100 to $150.

Cashen said Anchorage and Fairbanks have similar ordinances and studies have shown impoundment discourages drunken driving.

In California in 1995, drunken driving offenses decreased by 18 percent for first-time offenders and 47 percent for second-time offenders after a similar impoundment ordinance was passed, she said.

''We don't know exactly why it works, but it does,'' Cashen said.

In 2001, Juneau had 403 drunken-driving arrests, according to MADD statistics.

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