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Panel to study DWI car seizures

The New York Police Department currently uses a confiscation system, although it was challenged in court close to 10 years ago.

Executive officer of the New York Police Department Civil Enforcement Unit Robert Fodera, also an attorney, said the NYPD has a regulation permitting them to confiscate vehicles involved in any crimes, misdemeanor or felony.

Fodera said in 1999 there was a challenge to the scope of the provision, but ultimately it included DWI arrests.

He said there are some exceptions to cars being confiscated, such as if it is owned by a third party and they were unaware of the crime, or if it is a short-term rental. "We evaluate every case on its own merit," he said. Seizures can be permanent if the owner had prior offenses and has been given a chance to seek counseling for prior offenses and has chosen not to, Fodera said.

He added there has not been any discussion to change the provision as it stands.""

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