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Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation restricting local police from impounding cars at sobriety checkpoints solely because a driver is unlicensed, but he vetoed other checkpoint restrictions.

Supporters of the bill Brown signed, Assembly Bill 353, by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, argued small cities used sobriety checkpoints to make money by impounding cars from unlicensed, low-income drivers who could not afford to retrieve them.

Brown, a Democrat, announced this afternoon that he vetoed legislation that would have defined how sobriety checkpoints are conducted in line with a California Supreme Court decision. In a veto message, Brown said the measure would have imposed greater restrictions than currently required by the court, for example stating a preference that checkpoints operate after dusk.

"This measure would also require law enforcement to announce the specific location of a checkpoint, 48 hours in advance, allowing drunk drivers to avoid detection altogether," Brown wrote.

Brown said the bill, Assembly Bill 1389, by Assemblyman Mike Allen, D-Santa Rosa, is "far too restrictive on local law enforcement."


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