A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

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City Wants Drunk Drivers To Pay Police Costs

Good city ordinance or just a money grab?

The City of Holland is proposing an ordinance that would fine people up to $400 if they are caught drunk and driving. The money would cover the expense associated with the offense, the Holland Sentinel reported

The fines range from $50 to $400 for expenses incurred by the police department. There will be a public hearing on the proposed ordinance and a final vote Nov. 28.

The move by the Holland City Council is a “money grab” if they don’t offer those not increasing city expenses via drunk driving some sort of tax relief, says Leon Drolet, chairman of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance.

Drolet said it's fine to charge people convicted of committing a crime for expenses as long as it is coupled with reducing the cost of those not committing the crimes.

"I think it is a great idea if they reduce the taxes on everyone else," Drolet said. "Usually, it is just a money grab."

Jim Chiodo, a Holland resident and a member of the Ottawa County Tea Party, said he approves of the ordinance.

Chiodo said he'd like the city to charge the people responsible for creating the extra cost as opposed to spreading it over the entire tax base.

"There is too much spreading around the cost of government," Chiodo said.

He said the city doesn't need to reduce the taxes on those not involved with drunk driving.

"Guess what? I'm not drunk driving. That's my tax relief," Chiodo said.

City Manager Ryan Cotton, Mayor Kurt Dykstra and officials from the Holland Police Department didn't respond to requests for comment.

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