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Dui Vehicle Impound


So what happens to your vehicle after you’re arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and hauled off to the drunk tank? Well, it’s going to depend on where you were pulled over and how nice the cop is willing to be.

Often the arresting officer will move your vehicle to a location where it can legally remain parked so that you can pick it up at a later time. If, however, you were parked in a location where the car cannot legally be parked in a safe location, the officer will have the car towed to an impound lot.

Most people think that issues of impoundment end at arrest. Surprisingly, they’re wrong. The California Vehicle Code allows for impoundment as punishment following a DUI conviction. What’s more, the Vehicle Code also allows for sale of a defendant’s vehicle under some circumstances following a DUI conviction.

Believe it or not, California Vehicle Code section 23594 provides that the court may order a vehicle registered to the defendant and used in the commission of a DUI to be impounded at the defendant’s expense for up to 30 days if the defendant has not had a prior conviction within the last five years. The court shall impound the vehicle at the defendant’s expense for up to 30 days if the defendant has had a prior DUI conviction within the last five years. If the defendant suffered a DUI with two DUI priors within the last five years, the court shall order the vehicle to be impounded at the defendant’s expense for up to 90 days.

In any of these circumstances the judge may opt not to order the vehicle impounded “except in an unusual case where the interests of justice would best be served by not ordering the impoundment.”

Lastly, California Vehicle Code section 23596 allows the court to declare the registered vehicle of someone convicted of three DUIs in a seven year period a “nuisance.” Once the court has declared the vehicle a “nuisance,” it can order it to be sold.

Fortunately, these penalties are rarely imposed. I mean really, why punish a vehicle for its owner’s misbehavior?

The post DUI Vehicle Impound appeared first on Law Offices of Taylor and Taylor - DUI Central.

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