Major Ken Howes or
Florida Highway Patrol
For Immediate Release
Tallahassee - Sixty-six (66) vehicles, valued at over $372,000, have been seized from drunk drivers by the Florida Highway Patrol since January 1, 2000, as a result of a tough DUI law passed during the 1999 Florida Legislature. Vehicles of drivers found in violation of Section 316.193, Florida Statutes (Florida’s DUI law) and whose driver license is currently under suspension for a previous conviction of DUI, are being seized by the FHP and other law enforcement agencies in accordance with the new law, which is found in Section 322.34(9), Florida Statutes.
Once a vehicle is seized under the new law, forfeiture proceedings begin. When the seizing agency obtains a final judgment from the Court granting forfeiture, the vehicle is sold. Thirty (30) percent of the net proceeds from the sale of the vehicle are retained by the seizing law enforcement agency, while seventy (70) percent of the proceeds are deposited in Florida’s General Revenue Fund for use by local WAGES (Work And Gain Economic Self-Sufficiency) coalitions in providing transportation services for participants of the WAGES program. The WAGES program, housed in the Department of Management Services, provides short-term assistance for individuals working toward achieving independent, productive lives, and gaining the responsibility that comes with self-sufficiency.
The FHP has found that in many of the 66 cases where vehicles have been seized, the vehicle was actually owned by someone other than the drunk driver who was arrested. "Friends and even family members need to use extreme caution when lending their vehicle to someone they know or suspect may drive after consuming alcohol," said Colonel Charles C. Hall, Director of the FHP. "While the statute may be interpreted to allow some discretion, it is the policy of the Florida Highway Patrol to seize all vehicles, regardless of value or other circumstances, in cases that meet the criteria outlined in the statute," Hall warned.
A complete listing of vehicles seized by the FHP was attached to this news release.