Different police agencies handle impounding vehicles in different ways. The officer could sometimes be nice enough to leave the vehicle where it is parked if the person was stopped in a parking lot. Sometimes officers will actually move a person’s vehicle in order to pull it into a parking spot or park legally on the roadway so the suspect can get their vehicle when they are no longer impaired. Generally speaking, police agencies here in Maricopa County usually have internal rules that state if someone was arrested under suspicion of extreme DUI their vehicle will be impounded for 30 days.
The harsh part is that a lot of times, the officers go after the portable breath test result, which is not considered reliable enough to use against the person in the court of law. If the person gave a portable breath test result above 0.15, but then ended up doing a breath testing on an Intoxilyzer 8000, which is considered reliable enough to use against them in the court of law, and that result came back below 0.15, the officers would still able to impound the vehicle based on the unreliable portable breath test result. The vehicle would generally be impounded for 30 days.
The officer could either park the vehicle and impound the keys so the suspect could come back to the police station to pick up the keys the following day, or they could impound the vehicle for 30 days. There are only a few legal ways to get a vehicle out of impound before the 30 days are up. One way would be for someone else whose name is on the title to go in and pick up the vehicle prior to the 30 days. The other way would be for the spouse of the client to go in and pick up the vehicle.
Usually, if another person on the title or the spouse went to pick up the vehicle before the 30 days were up, it would be very likely they would have to sign a contract stating the person who was operating the vehicle at the time of the DUI would not be allowed to operate that vehicle for one year, regardless of them still having a valid driver’s license the day after the arrest. Their license would usually be suspended for 90 days total for either being suspected or convicted of DUI, and this contract would preclude them from operating that vehicle for one year.
Can An Attorney Help Get The Car Released From Impound?
It does get more expensive. I can advise my clients regarding the options that might be available to them. It is not necessarily a criminal aspect to the case and it is not necessarily concerning representation on a DUI, so in a way, it is more of a civil issue whether the vehicle was wrongly impounded or not. It is normally something the client would handle on their own and, generally speaking, there is not much an attorney can do to assist them in getting their vehicle back other than alerting them to the general rules under police policy and Arizona law.
What alternative transportation options does someone have?
Nowadays, there are some fantastic options in Maricopa County. Lift is a fantastic option, and there are options available for people who realize at the last minute that they drank too much and probably should not be driving. There is even a tow truck that will pick up the person and drop them home while towing their vehicle to their house.
Most options are reasonably priced, and there are options available in Maricopa County such as the light rail system and the bus system, and anyone would be willing to help someone who asked for help rather than letting them drive drunk and face potential consequences of a misdemeanor or felony charges.
For more information on Releasing Your Car From Impound, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling 480-900-0384 today.