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Wilson OKs Seizing Cars for 2nd Unlicensed-Driving Offense

October 01, 1994|JERRY GILLAM | Times Staff Writer

Gov. Pete Wilson has signed a bill allowing police to confiscate automobiles driven by unlicensed drivers who have a prior conviction for driving without a license or for driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Police will have the authority to seize vehicles owned by such unlicensed drivers when they are stopped for routine traffic violations.

Effective Jan. 1, the new law (AB 3148) was sponsored by Assemblyman Richard Katz (D-Sylmar).

"Almost every week we hear about an accident in which innocent people are injured or killed because unlicensed drivers ignore the law and drive anyway," Katz said. "Now, if a person who has no business being on the road drives, they lose their car."

California will become the first state to have such a law.


Bills Signed

* State Holiday: SB 1373 by Sen. Art Torres (D-Los Angeles) makes March 31 an unpaid state holiday in recognition of the late Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers union.

* Price Gouging: AB 36X by Katz and AB 57X by Assemblywoman Marguerite Archie-Hudson (D-Los Angeles) make it a crime for merchants to increase prices for vital goods and services by more than 10% after a natural disaster such as the Northridge earthquake.

* Ticket Sellers: AB 3083 by Assemblywoman Dede Alpert (D-Coronado) requires ticket sellers to inform buyers that they actually possess the tickets they are selling and how much they will cost. This bill was sparked by last year's Rose Bowl game fiasco when some vacationing Wisconsin tour package buyers arrived to find they had no tickets.

* Drug Crimes: AB 79X by Assemblyman Robert Frazee (R-Carlsbad) authorizes a six-month driver's license suspension for people convicted of drug offenses.

* Sex Offenders: AB 2500 by Assemblywoman Barbara Alby (R-Fair Oaks) requires the state Department of Justice to maintain a 900 telephone number that people can call to find out if someone who is a registered sex offender is living in their neighborhood.

* Sex Crimes: AB 1211 by Assemblyman Richard Rainey (R-Danville) expands the list of sex offenses for which an offender must register with local law enforcement authorities.

* Palm Prints: AB 151X by Assemblyman Sal Cannella (D-Ceres) requires registered sex offenders to submit full palm prints to law enforcement authorities in addition to blood and saliva samples before their release from prison. A palm print helped link suspect Richard Allen Davis to the Polly Klaas kidnaping and murder.

* Sexual Assault: SB 1351 by Sen. Milton Marks (D-San Francisco) provides that a woman's request that an attacker use a condom or other birth control device does not constitute consent for sexual assault.

* Rape Definition: AB 85X by Assemblywoman Diane Martinez (D-Rosemead) expands the legal definition of rape to include situations in which women are unable to resist because they are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

* Stalking: AB 3730 by Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D-Garden Grove) makes it easier to prosecute prison inmates who harass women from inside prison.

* ATM Robberies: SB 2908 by Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) makes robbing a person using an automated teller machine a first-degree robbery.

* School Truancy: SB 1728 by Sen. Teresa Hughes (D-Inglewood) permits the courts to suspend or delay for up to one year the driving privileges of a habitually truant minor.

* Governor's Rewards: SB 43X by Sen. Robert Beverly (R-Redondo Beach) increases from $50,000 to $100,000 the reward the governor can offer for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who kills a policeman or firefighter acting in the line of duty.

* Child Support: AB 923 by Assemblywoman Jackie Speier (D-Burlingame) allows the suspension of state business and professional licenses held by parents who fail to make court-ordered child support payments.

* Child Abuse: AB 27X by Speier establishes a prison sentence of 15 years to life for those convicted of the fatal abuse of a child under the age of 8.

* Graffiti: SB 308 by Sen. John Lewis (R-Orange) makes it a misdemeanor to possess an aerosol paint container, felt-tip pen or other marking instrument with the intent to write graffiti or commit vandalism.

* Parental Liability: AB 1629 by Assemblywoman Betty Karnette (D-Long Beach) makes parents liable for their minor's Juvenile Court-ordered restitution for damaging other people's property.

* Paramedic Training: AB 3123 by Assemblyman Johan Klehs (D-San Leandro) establishes a statewide system for the examination and licensing of California's 7,000 paramedics, replacing the current county-by-county programs.

Readers who wish to communicate with legislators regarding Assembly and Senate bills can write to them at the State Capitol Building, Sacramento, Calif. 95814.

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