The Giuliani Administration won a sweeping court victory yesterday upholding its get-tough policy of confiscating the cars of motorists arrested for drunk driving, which started in February.
Acting Justice Michael Stallman broadly affirmed the statutory and constitutional underpinnings of the new seizure policy offered by the City Corporation Counsel’s Office, finding that no hearing — pre-or post-seizure — is required under state or federal due process principles as long as a criminal case is pending. Similarly, on one of the thorniest legal issues presented by the new policy, he concluded, the car seizures did not run afoul of the federal constitutional ban on “excessive fines.”
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