Shelley Parker, attorney for the Chattanooga Police Department, appeared before the committee on behalf of the bill.
"This is patterned after a program in New York City that has been very successful in reducing street prostitution," Parker
The bill provides that after the cost of selling and storing the vehicle is deducted, the proceeds are divided equally between the state and the arresting agency.
Rep. Chris Newton, R-Cleveland, said local governments already have more seized vehicles from DUI and other arrests than they know what to do with."The locals are already covered up in everything from old junkers to Mercedes Benzes," Newton said.
"There are more old junkers than Mercedes Benzes," Buck observed.
In response to a question from Buck, Parker
said the car seizures would be at the discretion of the judge, meaning they are permissive instead of mandatory.
Rep. Keith Westmoreland, R-Kingsport, said if the legislature wants to do something about the prostitution problem it should enhance the penalty instead of taking someone's property.
"If they drive somewhere and go into a house, are you going to confiscate that house, also?"Westmoreland asked."Where do we draw the line?"
said it was not the intention of the legislation to permit the seizing of houses.
Because of uncertainty over the effect of some of the bill's provisions, further action was postponed until today.
Duren Cheek covers state government.Reach him via e-mail at email@example.com or by calling (615)726-4889.
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