The San Jose Police have announced that the Department will no longer impound vehicles that are stopped for a minor traffic violation and where the driver was unlicensed at the time of the stop. For years the Police have been impounding vehicles for 30 days if the driver could not produce a valid driver's license. It has been a source of revenue for the city, as the fines and fees can be excessive.
It seems that the San Jose Police have caved in the wake of numerous complaints suggesting that this policy greatly impacts illegal aliens who do not qualify for a California driver's license. Immigration advocates argue that the policy puts a greater burden on immigrants who drive to and from work every day, but cannot obtain a legal license to drive.
The new policy allows a police officer the discretion to leave the vehicle parked and wait for a licensed driver to come and take it.
The police will still cite such drivers for a violation of Vehicle Code section 12500, driving without a license.
San Jose police have indicated that the new policy is to renew trust between the Department and the Latino and immigrant communities.