About this story
Reason Magazine conducted an investigation into Chicago's vehicle impound program. The story was published on April 25, 2018. Specifically, we found:
- Chicago imposed roughly $17 million in impound fines over a 12-month period over the past year.
- About $10 million of those fines were for driving on a suspended license, and $3 million were for narcotics violations.
- Of the about 27,000 violations, around 10,000 resulted in default judgement after the owners failed to request a hearing
About the data
This repository includes a spreadsheet obtained via public records request from the Chicago Administrative Hearings Department detailing vehicle impounds between March 2017 and March 2018, including the alleged violation, location, final disposition of the case, and total fine imposed. A Jupyter notebook also shows how we arrived at our figures.
On June 27, 2018 I uploaded an additional spreadsheet, impounds12-17.xls, that I received from the Chicago Administrative Hearings Department. It includes data on impound cases from 2012 through 2017, showing a total of $114 million in impound fines imposed over that time period. A separate Jupyter notebook showing our work on that spreadsheet has also been uploaded.