Local News

Hundreds of vehicles seized under 'Run and You're Done' law

Posted August 23, 2013
Updated August 24, 2013

— A high-speed police chase around Interstate 440 in Raleigh Friday ended with the suspect crashing his Suzuki 1300 into a Wake County Sheriff’s Office patrol car.

In addition to a long list of criminal charges, 21-year-old David Brandon Banks now faces losing his motorcycle under North Carolina’s “Run and You’re Done” law.

Passed in 2011, the law allows law enforcement agencies to seize vehicles involved in chases. If the suspect is convicted, the agency sells the vehicle and turns over the money to public schools.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol has seized 386 vehicles since the law took effect. Wake County has seized 79 vehicles.

“If a person tries to outrun us, somebody needs to take that vehicle,” Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said. “We don’t need to put it back in their hands.”

Harrison backs the state's "Run and You're Done" provision, saying it’s a matter of public safety. But not everyone agrees.

Criminal defense attorney Mark McCullough said he understands the intent, but thinks the law is unfair.

“It turns the constitutional presumption of innocence on its head if the police can come in or the state can come in and start seizing your property because you've been accused of something,” he said.

He acknowledged that vehicle owners who get charges dropped or who weren’t driving the car at the time of the crime can get their vehicles back. Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison 'Run and Done' law works, sheriff says

“You can file a petition with the clerk saying you are an innocent owner,” he said.

Harrison agrees with due process but believes safety should be the overriding factor in seizures. His agency confiscated Banks’ motorcycle under the law.

“He puts a lot of lives in danger, including my officers and the citizens riding these roads,” Harrison said. “That's the reason I'm so adamant about it. Let's take that vehicle and teach him a lesson.”

In Wake County, 48 of the 79 vehicles seized under "Run and You're Done" are still impounded because the cases have not been settled. Thirty-one have been released back to owners for various reasons.

So far, no money has gone to Wake County schools from the program.

19 Comments

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  • kermit60 Aug 27, 9:53 a.m.

    It's a controversial issue but I don't understand the logic that the person was driving fast or was dangerous so let's get a few police cars to do the same thing in the name of safety.

  • macy Aug 26, 3:45 p.m.

    buster102007 has my vote in the next Presidential race!!

  • beachboater Aug 26, 3:08 p.m.

    The problem with this is just like with the DWI rules. They seize the vehicle, but there is a lien holder and the vehicle is not worth what the lien is.

    The person that bought and financed the car is still responsible for the payments, until he stops making the payments and lets the lienholder repo the car. Nobody wins in that situation.

    I seem to remember an article on DWI seized vehicles some time back. It basically said they had a yard full of junk. I guess a lot/most people that run from the law do end up wrecking the vehicle before they stop.

    Unless they are dumb enough to run out of gas. hahaha.

  • goldenosprey Aug 26, 11:59 a.m.

    This law is an instrument of fascism.

    The government is the arbiter of who "runs" and who does not. The government retains the hostage property for weeks or months before the suspect's charges are adjudicated.

    If you are an innocent owner you have a major headache in dislodging the county's heavy hands from your way to work.

    As many cars will have liens or will be damaged in the chase, the money given the school system will probably not be worth the trouble. I'm always surprised by the conservatives who cheer Big Government seizing property before guilt is proven.

    Thinkin out loud and Buster, we have an 8th amendment in this country. Your idea of punishment may be easier to find in countries that operate on Sharia.

  • seven74215 Aug 26, 8:16 a.m.

    Here's a solution to those who have found themselves a victim to this law: If there is a next time then don't run and it won't be an issue! How much simpler can that get.

  • rdc42179 Aug 23, 7:24 p.m.

    @thinking out loud
    “If a person tries to outrun us, somebody needs to take that vehicle,” Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said. “We don’t need to put it back in their hands.”

    Didn't say it was his law, just that he supports it. There's a difference between support and enforcement.!!

  • thinkin out loud Aug 23, 7:09 p.m.

    Um, rdc42179. This aint Donnie Harrison's law it's state law and the law law enforcement SHALL seize the vehicle not may seize it. I assure you Sheriff Harrison has not enjoyed the headache.

  • thinkin out loud Aug 23, 7:06 p.m.

    Well said buster102007. Agree with you 100%

  • thinkin out loud Aug 23, 7:05 p.m.

    SO Sailbadthesinner. Did you not read the article (or watch the video) where it said the money is suppose to go to the schools and that so far no money from seized cars in Wake County has been generated because of this.

    This is an excellent law and a great deterrent for 2nd offenses. Most people have not heard of "Run and your Done" but they will think twice after their car gets seized and if you are going to run from the law putting the rest of the motoring public at risk you need to have your car, bike or whatever your conveyance of choice is taken away from you. We do the same thing to those charged with DWI if their license is already suspended for DWI.

  • buster102007 Aug 23, 7:00 p.m.

    If you run like this then the vehicle should be taken away and loss of license for 5 years first offense. Second offense life in prison. You get caught being in a gang, 10 years, get caught again 50 years. Rape or murder someone and you are 100% guilty, Death penalty, and do not take 10 years to carry it out, it should happen the same day. Time to get tough with criminals. I guarantee you crime would drop 90% or more.

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