Police can now impound, seize cars more easily as laws target reckless driving, street racing and ‘takeovers’

HOUSTON – As of September 1, police in Texas have a new weapon against street racers and reckless drivers, taking the cars involved, in some cases, permanently.

Two new laws, HB 2899 and HB 1442, are now in effect.

The laws allow law enforcement to immediately impound vehicles and confiscate personal property tied to street racing and reckless driving. In some cases, law enforcement will also now be able to permanently seize and ultimately auction vehicles.

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That new law especially targets repeat offenders.

“It’s caused injuries, it’s caused even deaths, we can’t allow that to happen in our area,” Lt. Marco Leal with Harris County Precinct 2 Constable’s Office said.

Constable Jerry Garcia, Leal’s boss, has said stopping the activity in his territory, mostly southeast Harris County, Houston, and Pasadena, is a priority.

His deputies have been proactive, patrolling hotspots, clearing parking lots, and writing tickets on weekend nights.

Now his team, and all of Texas law enforcement, can immediately impound vehicles connected to the crimes most often associated with these crimes, and possibly permanently seize the vehicles.

The move is expected to have a deterrent effect because participants may not want to risk their vehicles.

“You can lose the car. Who knows, they may have to go to the auction and pay for the vehicle all over again,” Lt. Leal said.