|Drunk driving is a poor life decision that affects many more people than just the driver. Roughly 37% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States were the result of alcohol-related accidents. Law enforcement agencies across the country are working to reduce the instances of people driving while intoxicated by setting up checkpoints, enforcing existing laws about drunk driving, and educating the community.
Of course, law enforcement attempts to be fair and balanced, with few exemptions. Thus, when Diane Reiners, an assistant priest at one of the largest churches in the world, left the Holland Tunnel on March 13th, she was arrested. The charges against Reiners first included Driving While Intoxicated, disobeying traffic law, and reckless driving. When police found anti-anxiety medication and painkillers prescribed to someone else in Reiner’s car, criminal possession of a controlled dangerous substance was added to the list.
Police were called around 6 p.m. to investigate a person driving “erratically,” and witnesses stated that Reiner swerved between lanes and hit the tunnel curb. Police found that Reiner was visibly intoxicated, and there were two open containers of vodka inside the vehicle. Reiner was arrested and her car was impounded.
While many police stations draw revenue from impounding cars, nearby Crisfield, Maryland has come up with a way to use impound fees to benefit the entire community. The fees for towing a car and storing it are directed to the city government, rather than to a private towing company. The city then splits the proceeds, sending 50% back to the Crisfield Police Department.
Crisfield Police Chief Mike Tabor told DelmarvaNow.com that the department would use the increased revenue for body cameras, overtime pay, and other benefits that it currently cannot afford.
While some people might accuse the city of trying to profit off residents’ misfortune, the fact is that the cars are already being impounded, whether it is for drunk driving, unpaid parking tickets, or because it was stolen. Crisfield is simply using the fees to make the city a better place.