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City's motor vehicle impound laws revised

The Sunnyside City Council Monday approved revisions to the Sunnyside Municipal Code motor vehicle impound laws.

The revisions, according to Sunnyside Deputy Police Chief Phil Schenck were required to conform with state laws.

Motor vehicles must be impounded when a driver is believed to be driving under the influence or has no physical control while the vehicle is in operation.

This, said Schenck, leaves no discretion for an officer.

Officers do have discretion as to whether or not to impound vehicles when a driver is driving while license suspended.

If the officer decides to impound the vehicle, the registered owner can prove any fines have been paid, pay a $50 impound fee and the vehicle will be released.

During a traffic stop, officers can choose to have a vehicle driven by an individual without a license parked, or the officer can request a licensed driver pick the vehicle up.

Attorney Quinn Plant said the discretion is necessary because the right to impound a vehicle driven by an unlicensed driver has been upheld by a court of appeals.

The Sunnyside City Council approved the changes in the Sunnyside ordinance by a 5-0 vote.

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