PROBE: March 27, 2002

March 27, 2002

QUESTION: I have decided to sell my 1994 Lincoln that the Imperial County Sheriff's Office had impounded. If I don't get my license back or get it insured in the next couple of weeks, can I sell it to get part of my money back?

I paid $5,000 for it and I had it only a couple of days when it was impounded. — Afoot, El Centro

If you pay the impound fees, you can have the car after 30 days, said Sheriff Harold Carter. Since it's your car, you can do anything you want to do with it, except drive it with a suspended license or without insurance.

Take a licensed, insured driver with you to get the car.

When that young deputy found you illegally parked, he had the option of giving you a parking citation or not giving you one, but once he wrote you up for driving on a suspended license, he couldn't rescind it, according to Carter.


SEND US YOUR $10 HOOKERS — The women on Adams Avenue are more than $10 hookers or drug users. They are women who need help. Send them to us at Imperial County Behavioral Health Services. We have some programs to help them.

There are some dedicated people working with drug users and they're getting results. The common notion is that addicts never get off drugs, but people are getting off drugs.

Substance abusers are the last class of people you can trash without getting in trouble.

If you work with children, people will throw garlands at your feet. Most of the women on the street are neglected or abused children a few years down the road. — Behavioral Health, El Centro

You're right!

QUESTION: I read the letter in PROBE about making it illegal to smoke in parks. I know California laws on smoking are really strict, but the Burgers and Beer restaurant in El Centro does not seem to know that. I go there frequently. The food is great if you do not eat in the patio where the smokers hang out.

Is there a law in California against smoking at a restaurant or within so many yards of a restaurant? I worry about the health of the waitresses and the non-smokers who eat there. I know one of the waitresses is pregnant (just like me). Is there anything you can do? — Non-smoker, e-mail

As far as we know, it's still legal to smoke outside in the patio at a restaurant. We're not ruling out there's a brand new state law covering patios.

However the 1995 law that banned smoking in virtually all enclosed areas in California specifically limits the ban to "enclosed" work places.

As we reported, you can still smoke in parks but you can no longer smoke in playground areas. Reportedly there's a movement to ban smoking in the home.

The city council of West Hollywood passed an ordinance allowing non-smoking apartment dwellers to file complaints if a neighbor's tobacco smoke filters into their apartments.

According to a story by Tom D. Elias in the conservative Washington Times, city councils in "other liberal bastions like Santa Monica and San Francisco" are watching the West Hollywood ordinance to "see how it works."

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