Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(1) “Motor vehicle” means every vehicle which is self-propelled, including, but not limited, to all automobiles, trucks, vans, motorcycles, and motor scooters.
(2) “Owners of record” means the record title holders of the vehicles.
(3) A person engages in conduct “knowingly” if, when the person engages in the conduct, the person is aware of a high probability that he or she is doing so.
(b) Conduct Prohibited. Any motor vehicle used in the commission of the following prescribed conduct is subject to seizure and impoundment under this section:
(1) A motor vehicle that is knowingly used in the commission of possession or attempted possession of cannabis, a controlled substance, or possession of drug paraphernalia as defined in 720 ILCS 550/2 et seq., 720 ILCS 570/101 et seq. and 720 ILCS 600/3.5;
(2) A motor vehicle that is used in the commission of the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs and/or intoxicating compounds or synthetic intoxicating compounds, fleeing or attempting to elude police officer as provided in 625 ILCS 5/11-501, and 625 ILCS 5/11-204(a);
(3) A motor vehicle that is used in the commission of the offense of driving on a suspended or revoked license in violation of 625 ILCS 5/6-303, or similar provision of this Code when the driver’s privileges are suspended or revoked;
(4) A motor vehicle that is being operated on a City street/alley and is not covered by liability insurance in accordance with 625 ILCS 5/7-601 and/or 625 ILCS 5/7-602;
(5) A motor vehicle that is used in the commission of the offense of no valid registration, expired registration more than six months, or operation of a vehicle when registration is revoked, cancelled or suspended, in violation of 625 ILCS 5/3-401, 5/3-413(f) and 5/3-702 or similar provisions of this Code.
(c) Seizure and Impoundment. Whenever a police officer has probable cause to believe that a vehicle is subject to seizure and impoundment pursuant to this section, the police officer shall provide for the towing of the vehicle to a facility controlled by the City or its agents. This subsection shall not apply if the vehicle used in the violation of subsection (b) hereof was stolen at the time of the alleged violation and the theft was reported to the appropriate police authorities within seventy-two hours after the theft was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.
(d) Notice. Within seventy-two hours after a vehicle is seized and impounded, the Police Department shall notify the owners of record or the person who is found to be in control of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation, of the fact of the seizure, the penalty assessed, and of their right to request a vehicle impoundment hearing under this subsection. All notices sent to the City or the owner of record pursuant to this subsection shall be provided by certified mail.
(e) Request for Hearing. A request for a hearing must be made within thirty days of the seizure and impoundment of any vehicle. The request for a hearing must be made in writing to the Police Department. A request for a hearing may be made by either the owners of record or the person found to be in control of the vehicle at time of the alleged violation.
(f) Failure to Request Hearing. If a request for a hearing is not made within thirty days of the seizure and impoundment, the vehicle shall be deemed abandoned and shall be disposed of in the manner provided by law for the disposition of abandoned vehicles. The vehicle shall not be released to the owners of record, or to the person found to be in control of the vehicle until the penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00) is paid to the City, and only after the applicable towing and storage fees have been paid to the towing agent.
(g) Hearing Officer. Within seven days of receiving a written request for a hearing, a hearing shall be held before a Hearing Officer. The Mayor or his designee shall serve as the Hearing Officer. All interested persons shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard at the hearing. The formal rules of evidence will not apply at the hearing. The hearing shall be tape recorded and the recording preserved by the City.
(1) The owner of the motor vehicle, or the person in control, may waive his right to a hearing under this section by agreeing and stipulating in writing that the seized motor vehicle was being used in violation of this section. Once the stipulation is signed and the penalty is paid, the seized vehicle shall be released. If after a hearing the Hearing Officer determines by a preponderance of the evidence that a violation for which a penalty is applicable under this section has occurred, the Hearing Officer shall enter an order finding the operator of the vehicle guilty of violating this section and the violator shall be liable to the City for the penalty provided for in this section, and also liable to the agent for any applicable towing and storage fees. If the operator of the vehicle fails to appear at the hearing, the Hearing Officer may enter a default order in favor of the City requiring payment to the City of a penalty in the amount provided for in this section as well as payment to the towing agent for any applicable towing and storage fees. If the Hearing Officer finds that no such violation occurred, the Hearing Officer shall order the immediate return of the vehicle to the owners of record.
(2) A. The penalty to any owner or operator of any motor vehicle found to be in violation of subsections (a)(1), (a)(2) or (a)(3) above shall be as follows:
1. The sum of three hundred dollars ($300.00) for a first offense;
2. The sum of six hundred dollars ($600.00) for a second offense;
3. The sum of nine hundred dollars ($900.00) for a third and subsequent offenses.
B. The penalty to any owner or operator of any motor vehicle found to be in violation of any paragraph of this section shall be liable for a penalty as follows:
1. The sum of one hundred dollars ($100.00) for a first offense;
2. The sum of two hundred dollars ($200.00) for a second offense;
3. The sum of five hundred dollars ($500.00) for a third and subsequent offense.
(i) Disposition of Impounded Vehicle. A penalty imposed pursuant to this section shall constitute a debt due and owing the City. A vehicle impounded pursuant to this section shall remain impounded until:
(1) The penalty provided by subsection (h) hereof is paid to the City and all applicable towing and storage fees are paid to the towing agent, in which case the owners of record shall be given possession of the vehicle;
(2) A bond in an amount equal to the prescribed penalty is posted with the Police Department and all applicable towing and storage fees are paid to the agent, at which time the vehicle shall be released to the owners of record; and
(3) If the vehicle is deemed abandoned, the vehicle shall be disposed of in the manner provided by law for the disposition of abandoned vehicles. The City shall follow the provisions of State statute 625 ILCS 5/4-208 and 625 ILCS 5/4-209.1 in disposing of impounded vehicles.
(j) Posting of Bond. If a bond in the amount of penalty provided is posted with the City Police Department, the impounded vehicle shall be released to the owners of record. If a penalty is imposed for violation of this section, the bond will be forfeited to the City; however, in the event a violation of this section is not proven by a preponderance of the evidence, the bond will be returned to the person posting the bond. All bond money posted pursuant to this section shall be deposited with the City Treasurer and held by the City Treasurer until the Hearing Officer issues a decision or, if there is a judicial review, until the court issues its decision.
(k) Failure to Pay Penalty. If the penalty and applicable towing and storage fees are not paid within eighty days after a penalty is imposed pursuant to this section, the vehicle shall be deemed abandoned and shall be disposed of in the manner provided by law for the disposition of abandoned vehicles.
(l) Judicial Review Pending. Provided, however, the vehicle shall not be deemed abandoned if a petition for judicial review of the Hearing Officer’s determination is filed and pending in a court of proper jurisdiction. Where a petition for judicial review of the Hearing Officer’s determination is sought and is subsequently resolved in favor of the City, the vehicle shall be deemed abandoned and shall be disposed of in the manner provided by law for the disposition of abandoned vehicles if the penalty and application towing and storage fees are not paid within 30 days after the resolution of this petition for judicial review. If a petition is filed for judicial review, the vehicle’s owner of record must provide notice of the filing to the Police Department no later than 24 hours after the petition is filed.
(m) Monies Deposited. All penalties collected and retained by the City for a violation of this section shall be deposited with the City Treasurer.
(Ord. 863. Passed 6-9-08; Ord. 957. Passed 10-14-15.)