WTSP-TV identified how illegal towing in Tampa was encouraging intoxicated bar patrons to drive their cars home, out of fear of towing. The story prompted immediate efforts to improve consumer protections outside bars and restaurants – not just in Tampa, but in neighboring cities now considering similar ordinances.

The investigation is part of WTSP-TV’s series on predatory towing, which involved analyzing hundreds of thousands of private impounds. The station also went undercover to test the towing law.