Fillmore will try to recover the costs of drunk-driving arrests, the City Council decided Tuesday.
Local police will bill convicted drivers for the time spent processing each offense. The fee will be charged when the case is filed, and defendants who are found innocent will be issued a refund, said Lt. Dick Purnell of the Ventura County sheriff's office in Fillmore. Purnell said 134 people were arrested for driving under the influence in the city last year.
Officers spend an average of three hours on each arrest, he said. Their time will be billed at $29 per hour. The new $120 fee now charged to cities for booking suspects into the county jail will be included in Fillmore's costs, for a total of about $207 per drunk-driving offense.
The city's charges will be levied in addition to any fines or other penalties related to the conviction.
Purnell said that the city is charged a booking fee most often for drunk-driving arrests. The ordinance will take effect in mid-January. He said the department also is researching cost recovery for other crimes.