Evanston officials say they’ve stayed away from what’s become an increasingly common practice in Chicago-area communities — charging a car owner a hefty impound fee to recover the vehicle after a driver is stopped for traffic violations or other offenses.

Evanston officials say they’ve stayed away from what’s become an increasingly common practice in Chicago-area communities — charging a car owner a hefty impound fee to recover the vehicle after a driver is stopped for traffic violations or other offenses.

The Chicago Tribune this morning reports that more than 100 area communities now impose fines of several hundred dollars on owners who make the mistake of lending their cars to someone who was caught driving on a suspended license or otherwise run afoul of the law.

Neighboring Skokie, TribLocal reports, charges $500 to recover a car driven by someone arrested for drunk driving or without a proper license.

But a city spokesman says Evanston decided to pass on the concept four years ago after a court ruled in favor of a woman who sued Waukegan after she wasn’t allowed to drive her car home after her son was stopped for driving on an expired license.

Evanston residents still have to pay a tow fee designed to cover the actual cost of having the vehicle removed, but not an administrative fine on top of that.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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