Vehicle Impound After a DUI
Arizona allows for law enforcement officers to impound the vehicle of those charged with certain DUIs. During this impoundment or immobilization, the offender’s insurance company does not have a duty to pay any benefits for charges or fees for this immobilization or impoundment.
When it comes to vehicle impoundment for DUIs, according to A.R.S. 28-3511, a vehicle can be impounded or immobilized by anyone a law enforcement officer has reasonable cause to believe the offender has committed:
- An extreme DUI (BAC between 0.15 and 0.20)
- An aggravated DUI (a felony DUI involving aggravated circumstances rather than a specific BAC)
Vehicles will be impounded or immobilized for a period of 20 days. This is a legislative change from the required 30 days of the past.
The owner of the vehicle being impounded, or their spouse, has an opportunity to request an immobilization or poststorage hearing.
The law enforcement agency responsible for issuing the impoundment or immobilization is required to enter all the information regarding the matter in the Arizona crime information center database within three days.
Per A.R.S. 28-3514, the vehicle owner will also receive notice stating that the owner may request a poststorage or immobilization hearing within 10 days of the notice date. This hearing must occur within 5 days of being requested. If the owner, their spouse, or another eligible party does not request a hearing within 10 days, the hearing requirement will be satisfied.
Anyone with a BAC lower than 0.15 does not have to have their vehicle impounded for 20 days. However, A.R.S. 28-872 allows for vehicle impoundment for DUIs with BACs below 0.15. In this case, vehicles can be recovered as soon as possible after paying administrative and impound fees.
Retrieving an Impounded Vehicle
Vehicles may be picked up from the impound lot listed on the provided impound notice following the 20-day hold. There will be daily holding fees as well as an administrative fee that must be paid in order to recover the impounded vehicle.
The vehicle owner’s spouse, or another person named on the title, is able to pick up the vehicle within the 20-day hold period as long as they sign a waiver stating that the offending driver will not operate the vehicle for one year or until their driving privileges are returned. Violations can result in a minimum of $250 in civil fines.
RIDEOUT LAW GROUP
With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.
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At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.
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