It's still legal to chalk tires — and Winters Police will soon do just that

Despite what you may have read, police in California can still chalk tires — and Winters police will start doing that soon.
Photo by Matthew Keys/Winters Express
Photo by Matthew Keys/Winters Express

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unreasonable search in violation of the Fourth Amendment. In an published opinion, an appellate judge wrote that city officials in the Michigan town of Saginaw failed to demonstrate how vehicles parked longer than a time limit allows create a “traffic impediment amounting to a public safety concern.” But that opinion applies only to states that fall within the Sixth Circuit; the opinion is not binding in California, which falls under the federal Ninth Circuit. The issue could still be taken up by the Supreme Court, in which any decision made by the Court’s Justices would have precedent over all 50 states. In the meantime, police are still able to chalk tires in California — and some law enforcement agencies intend to do so. In an email with the Express, Winters Police Department Chief John Miller said his department will monitor legal trends with respect to chalking tires and other parking enforcement measures, but noted his agency intends to carry through with plans to enforce downtown parking time limits starting May 1. “For the time being and following current law, we will still be chalking,” Miller said. The police department will enforce the time limits with blanket warnings to parking violators for a few weeks before transitioning to citations. Most parking violations in town will come with a $30 fine. “We are not seeking revenue, just traffic flow,” Miller said. Get the latest traffic conditions on the Winters Express Traffic page, powered by Waze, at]]>

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