Home / Auto News / News article: The Donk Days Are Over As Cincinnati Police Impound Cars With Big Rims - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Apr 06 2011, 2:26 PM

Fans of American sedans with comically large wheels would do well to avoid the Cincinnati, Ohio area, as police in the region are now seizing and impounding vehicles that fit the profile of a “donk” (a large American sedan with wheels 20″ or greater in diameter) due to allegedly being unsafe for the road.

Cincinnati police cited a vague public safety code that supposedly gives them the authority to impound the cars, and local motorists affected by the actions are outraged at what they see as excessive heavy-handedness by police. Local news stations have been covering the story, with city officials declining to comment on the matter. While the aesthetics of the donk movement are open to question, it’s hard to imagine the big rims have such a detrimental effect on performance to the point where the vehicles are no longer road-worthy.

[Source: Jalopnik]

  • Joe

    “it’s hard to imagine the big rims have such a detrimental effect on performance to the point where the vehicles are no longer road-worthy.”

    Having been stationed in Fayetteville, NC, where every other car is a “donk”, I wholeheartedly disagree with the above quote. These cars, with their absolutely ridiculous rims, have the turning radius of two school buses welded end to end. When I could out turn these piles of dung in a Nissan Titan, which has a HORRIBLE turning radius, then yes, they are a hazard. Nevermind the fact that the ignorant morons that do this hardly ever upgrade their brakes, and you have an even bigger safety hazard. The large wheels and tires weigh far more than their stock sized counterparts. The heavier weight takes more energy to get going, and bigger brakes to stop. I wish more cities and states would crack down on this absolutely ridiculous trend. I’m all about land of the free, but when your ugly car poses a safety hazard to myself and my family, you’ve crossed a line. The cars should be crushed and sold for scrap.

  • Rutledge Webb

    There is a reason police are not judge and jury because they do stupid things like this based on a perceived “problem”. There are plenty of vehicle that come with rims greater than 20″ from the factory. Cadillac escalade for one. Kind or reminds about a friend of mine who was a Ford employee driving a Ford owned Lincoln Mark 8 in the late ’90s that had factory xenon headlights. She was pulled over in a podunk Georgia town and given a ticket for having blue lights. A true facepalm moment.

  • Mike

    Get out of town this is pure racism at its finest. What about large picktrucks that dam near look like monster truck with big wheels.

  • Cat

    It’s about time that they did something about these unsafe vehicles. The only way that you should be able to rum larger wheels is to upgrade your brakes to be able to keep up with the added rolling mass.

  • Marcus

    This is outrageous! What is shown in the picture and the example listed in the articles are clearly NOT donks. These cars are normal cars with oversized wheels. This is not a new practice, as oversized wheels and DOT approved tires have been in production and in use for over a decade. Brodozers are much more an issue than cars that look like this… This is nothing more than targeting a demographic and fining them, period.

    Also, since when did turning radius affect the safety of a car driving next to you? Is turning radius related to safety at all? I think not. If those guys were driving a Smartfortwo, would you feel that the 8′ turning radius made it an infinitely more “safe” car?

  • Tyrone

    These are white folks doing what they do ( persecuting all others all over the world ) . This article is amazing.

  • patrick

    this message is for Joe, i live in Raleigh NC and before any of these cars hit the road the have to get a state inspection. if this mechanics deem these car acceptable then they pass them. so if these guys are driving this cars and you haven’t hear of or personally been in an accident then how can you make claims like that. further more whenever you see a “donk” they are normal driving slow so that they can be seen. do you feel the same about these guy driving around in truck lifted high off the ground because this is the same issue but worst as being that high reduces visibility, and usual you have to up grade parts and suspension as well to get the proper ride. there is a law in NC that says that is illegal but the police are not bothering those guys.

  • Tamora

    I agree with Patrick. The pickup trucks with the giant wheels should be targeted as unsafe as well if the police want to pull the unsafe card. Did they really do the math and find out how many of these cars have been in accidents? Now I’m all for safety so I do think that it’s a good idea on what Raleigh, NC is doing with having a state inspection on all cars which is also done in Atlanta, GA. To just go around impounding these cars is very wrong indeed. I’m not one who jumps on the race wagon but let’s be real…if these where rich white people doing this, would the issue be as big? So Cincinnati Police and all other police, if you were truly concered about vehicular safety, you should go after ALL unsafe vehicles.

  • jp

    Let’s be honest here folks..I’m from cincy and we including myself have been riding on big rims 4 years now. Do u think the police woke up 1 day and said hey let’s outlaw big rims…hell no..this is all about money and profiling to gets drug dealers and get people name in the system so they can watch u..cuz they fig if he can afford it he must be a drug dealer..u should see the big ass 2 feet deep pot holes and crumblings buildings so trust me our safety is the last thing out their minds..the city is broke..more tax payers are moving away..its da money people..

  • James

    aye patrick i like that. It is pure racism. You got a kid/student riding in a big ole truck and turn like a big 18 wheeler. This nothing but somebody trying to start up some crap. CAUSE AT THE END. THEY LOST. SOON ARE LATER SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN BAD AND THEY WILL NOT ENFORCE THAT particular law. the crazy PARt is that THE POLICE CAN NOT EVEN comment on the matter. i believe because they know it is DEAD WRONG.

  • adventure_of_link

    as for the trucks in general, they can get away with it because they’re usually elevated so high up that not only can the tires not hit the fender or the fuel tank, but it’ll hold better.

    on the other hand, WTG cincinnati for totally focusing on donks and not killings/robbings/etc..

  • Mike

    I dont see any problem with the cars getting impounded if the owner didnt take the precaution of also upgrading the brakes. None of these cars have the ability to stop properly and safely with wheels that size with the braking system that came from the factory. Some of these wheels can weight two, three and ever four times as much as the factory wheels.

    I for one dont want to be in front of one of these cars in an emergency stopping situation.

    If they want a “blinged” up ride, that fine. Just make sure its safe too.

  • Cunby

    This is Racist pure and simple. Your ride isn’t any safter, or unsafer with the addition of Rims 20′s or better. This is a way to drum up business, impounded cars cost to get out of impound. impounded cars cost to store per day. @ an usually high rate. . . . Did they include the D.O.T. in this study. I’d put this racist garbage right up there with the ” show us your birth cert. ” B.S. . . . Racist people make me sick. it’s a shameful part of American life.

  • Wheel Guy

    For the people that claim that these are a hazard because of the braking issues have some legitimacy but I’m sure that the police force are not looking at this issue. This is all about stupid cops and politicians period. “We don’t like them so they are illegal”. I’m not a big fan of these but come on, this is crazy. Go after all the people driving down the road in standard stock cars that are unsafe due to neglect or are belching out smoke and fumes, this is a safety hazard. Or better yet, pull over the morons smoking while their kids are in the car. You see this more often than these larger rims. This just makes no sense at all. Who ever came up with this idea and the other people that agree with it need to be outlawed.

  • Joe

    Patrick: I know all about the NC state safety inspection, and it’s a joke. Any “safety inspection” that can be performed by a lackey working at Jiffy Lube isn’t a real inspection, it’s just a money grab for the state. That also applies to the Cumberland county emmissions inspection, total joke. I had a Mitsubishi Galant, aka: hulking pile of crap, that was completely not street legal. Bypassed O2 sensors, off road use only headers, etc. Guess what, IT PASSED. As long as you pay the inspection fee, and throw Jiffy Lube $30 to replace your wiper blades they will pass anything. So what’s your next argument??

  • J

    This is absolutely ridiculous, how about all of the cars that come stock with 20′s and 22′s? are they going to pull them over too? and it has absolutely nothing to do with turning radius, your wheel has to hit and rub the wheel well before it ever effects the turn. and if the wheels are too big then they are boxed up still does not mess with the radius.

  • Jeff

    For everyone saying “Those cars can’t stop properly”….you do realize the drivers are NOT going so fast to the point where they NEED to stop, right? Yes, it’s true the wheels weigh an extreme amount more than the ones that come with the car, but that actually slows the car down, meaning that, even though it toulw take more for the car to stop, it really wouldn’t take that much because they’re not going fast to begin with. And that’s the point. Like someone said before, they’re not going fast because those wheels are meant to be flashy and seen. Now which is easier to stop, a car with stock wheels going 100mph, or a car with huge rims going 20mph?

    Fun fact for you. The Nissan GT-R comes with 20′s stock, huge brakes to stop the car, and unrestricted can hit speeds over 160mph. But that car has the brakes to stop it….should it be impounded?

  • greg

    I am a victim of this, i live downtown cincy and had my buick lesabre profiled and impounded for having 22″ rims along with the impound i was heavily ticketed for several violations pertaining to one issue, and car kept for six days. i think its sad beacause i was asked to turn my wheels all the way to both sides and the officer was on his knees feeling my wheel well to see if it rubbed with my wheel turned to the max and it barely did by hairs… do u think i would put $3,ooo rims on a $12,ooo car and put my own life in danger and destroy my beautiful car just to look nice? get real who does that ,there is nothin unsafe about my car and my custom rims are lighter than my factorties

  • greg

    they dont care about safety they care about money because if u live in cincy jus drive past a police station and look at the officers cars with illegal tint, rims headlights,i see off duty officers at the gas station in cars more hooked up than mine

  • hershel (white boy)

    I know this is an older thread but I have to comment! I have a mountaineer on 22″ rims,stock is 15″ tires I have the same brakes on it that I had with the 15′s and it stops EXACTLY THE SAME no matter if I’m doint 75 mph or 20 mph it all comes down to how you are maintaining your vehicle. If you wasn’t worried about what everyone else was doing you would probably have more money in your pocket!

  • disqus_H2siK5q09x

    racism at its finest

  • David Hayes

    impound them all

  • t

    Cops r fuckin retarded and just mad there are donks faster den their pussy ass cop car

  • 000

    Nothin wrong with them cars except bein nicer than the rest

  • Elijah R

    Yu a hater just cause they dont want they cars like everybody elses dont mean nothin its their cars let them do what they want to their cars did yu buy there cars i dont think so… so let them do what they want