Bradenton Council works on legal car impoundments

jtate@bradenton.comMay 22, 2013 

BRADENTON -- The Bradenton City Council is nearly done revising its car impoundment policy.

City Attorney William Lisch said a new ordinance was required to replace an ordinance similar to one recently rendered illegal by the courts. The courts ruled seizure laws are legal as long affected property owners have access to an extensive appeals process.

The Bradenton City Council has reworded its car impoundment ordinance to conform with new legal guidelines. The council unanimously gave preliminary approval to change the ordinance May 8 to allow police to impound vehicles used for prostitution and drug crimes.

The second reading of the ordinance is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the council meeting, which will allow community input on the vehicle impoundment ordinance.

Bradenton's new ordinance will allow police to impound cars used in crimes such as prostitution, indecent exposure or possession of a controlled substance. Offenders face a $500 fine for impoundment.

Lisch said the ordinance will not affect the owner of a car not involved with crime.

Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski said the old ordinance was enforced when people were arrested

for prostitution or drugs. He said it's been a while since they were able to enforce the ordinance due to the legal limitations.

"We wanted to make sure what we were doing was legal," said Radzilowski.

He said the bottom line is if you're not out picking up prostitutes or doing drugs in your car then you have nothing to worry about.

"It's going to be enforced," said Radzilowski, if the ordinance passes second reading.

JANEY TATE, City of Bradenton and Palmetto Reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.

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