Albuquerque continues to seize vehicles despite ruling

Posted at: 12/03/2013 8:12 AM
Updated at: 12/03/2013 8:13 AM
By: The Associated Press

Photo: KOB File Photo

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Attorneys for Albuquerque say a New Mexico Supreme Court order applied to only one case and that the city can continue seizing vehicles of suspected drunken drivers.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the Supreme Court refused to consider the city's appeal of a lower court's ruling that the city's DWI vehicle-forfeiture ordinance is unconstitutional.

However, city attorney David Tourek says the Supreme Court's order clearly applied to only the vehicle in one case. He says that means the city can still seize vehicles in other cases.

Attorney Colin Hunter won the earlier case and says the city is on shaky legal ground by continuing to seize vehicles.

District Judge Clay Campbell ruled last month that Albuquerque's ordinance was unconstitutional because it lacked a meaningful appeals process for innocent owners.

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