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Tennessee lawmaker wants to seize cars of drunken drivers

Rep. Mark White (R-Memphis)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A local lawmaker is amping up efforts to crack down on drunk drivers in Tennessee by seizing their cars, after a crash killed a veteran Memphis police officer.

Lt. Myron Fair was killed just after midnight Thursday at the intersection of Austin Peay and Yale in his own car. Police said a Dodge Durango plowed into Fair’s car, flipping and rolling it into the side of the road.

Marquell Griffin was arrested on a number of charges, including DUI — a charge he’s been convicted of three other times.

“What we would like to do is change the law,” said Tennessee state Rep. Mark White, (R-Memphis).

White said he wants authorities to have the ability to seize a driver’s car when they’re arrested for drunk driving and have other DUIs on their record.

“Current law in Tennessee says we can confiscate a person’s vehicle up upon conviction. Convictions take a while. Convictions can take one, two, three years,” he said.

He hopes by taking a car away, it would make it harder for that repeat offender to get behind a wheel.

“I’m over the excuses. It happens too much. That person, you’re preventing them from going to work the next day. Well, this person doesn’t get to come home to his family,” he said.

White said he recently introduced the idea to legislators, but pulled the bill to work out some kinks like who pays to store the car at the impound lot.

Now, he’s increasing his efforts to reintroduce and, he hopes, pass the bill before the session ends.

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