Ordinance Allowing for Vehicle Impoundment for First-Time Uninsured Motorists Receives Final Approval

At this week’s Lubbock City Council meeting, the council unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance which will allow police officers to have a vehicle impounded upon discovery that the operator does not have basic insurance coverage.

State law allows a vehicle to be impounded on the second offense of driving without financial responsibility, but this ordinance makes it possible for the Lubbock police officer to have a vehicle impounded after the first traffic stop which yields the information that a driver is uninsured.

District 1 Councilman Victor Hernandez listed the costs involved after receiving a citation for driving without insurance. Hernandez said that the first offense generally costs around $249 dollars, and the second offense is much higher, with a $750 state surcharge required to be paid over three years. Adding the impoundment fee would increase the cost for a first-time offender by $157.50.

Hernandez and a city staff member did research into insurance costs using his own age, driving record and vehicle, and the cheapest liability coverage for under $25 per month. “I wanted to let the public know how much cheaper it would be just to get insurance. $25 bucks a month, as opposed to a total of over $400 for a first-time offense of no insurance plus impoundment.”

Lubbock police have the ability to check the insurance status of a motorist in case they do not have their proof of insurance with them.

Enforcement of the ordinance will begin on February 19th.

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