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Seized Cars to be Auctioned Saturday to Benefit N.C. Schools

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DUNN — Schools thought they hit the jackpot with a law allowing them to sell cars seized from repeat drunk drivers. But the opportunity turned into a headache. Now a private company will auction 160 cars this weekend to benefit North Carolina schools.

In the first 12 months of this DWI Vehicle Seizure law, school systems around the state only sold about 50 of the 5,000 vehicles seized. Now, the way that law is being carried out has entered a new phase.

Many of the cars are old, clunky and dented, but they were running when they were seized from people pulled over for drunk driving.

A new company hired by the state will auction them off this weekend.

"Too many school districts across the state were losing money. The schools were not set up to handle the volume of vehicles seized," says vehicle administrator Jeff Moore.

So far the company hired to handle the thousands of cars seized has barely shifted into gear.

DGS Contract Services says many of the expensive cars that fetch the highest prices still get returned to their owners.

"People are getting more aware of the new law and we're like seeing a revolving door of vehicles that are coming in and being released within two or three days after we get them back to our lot," says Rickie Day, president of DGS Contract Services.

In a number of cases the cars are getting reclaimed by owners who say they did not know a friend or relative was going to be drinking and driving.

But some new laws that go into effect in December should make it easier for the company and schools to make money off this new vehicle seizure law.

"There's no doubt I think it can work," says Day. "It's just a matter of fine tuning some things to benefit the school systems."

Starting in December, if you try to get your car back by saying a drunk drive drove it without your permission, they will have to file a report with police and press charges. Auction Information:
  • Registration begins Saturday, August 28 at 8 a.m.
  • Vehicles may be previewed immediately after registration.
  • The auction begins at approximately 10 a.m. and continues until all items are sold.Directions:
  • The auction location is 427 Jonesboro Road in Dunn. To get there, take Interstate 95 to the Jonesboro Road exit (Exit 75). Turn West and pass Saddler's Truck Stop and turn into the parking lot of the gas/service station and diner. The auction will be held in the lot behind the service station.

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    Len Besthoff, Reporter
    John Cox, Photographer
    Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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