Arizona Impounding Car Laws
Losing your license or having your car impounded following an Arizona DUI can be life-changing. To avoid losing your license or your car, ensure that you hire an experienced and knowledgeable Arizona DUI attorney.
Under Arizona Revised Statute §28-3511, all individuals with a previous DUI conviction within seven years on record will have their vehicle impounded upon a traffic stop for another DUI. Not having access to your car can mean struggles to get to and from work or school. It makes simple tasks, such as going to the grocery store difficult.
Vehicles are impounded for 30 days. The reason Arizona impounds the vehicle is that it has been shown to decrease the likelihood of repeat DUI offenders and to reduce the crash rates for DUI drivers.
Vehicle impounding for DUI exceptions
A second DUI charge is not necessarily a certain 30-day impounding for your car. If you’ve done a good job keeping up on the registration and licensing of your vehicle and your blood alcohol content is less than .15, you could avoid having your vehicle impounded.
However, if there are additional circumstances, such as those that would constitute an aggravated DUI, your car could still be impounded if your BAC is found to be .08 to .15.
In cases where there is a passenger in the car with you, law enforcement might permit that individual to drive the car home. For this to be possible, your passenger must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and have a valid Arizona driver’s license.
How you can retrieve your vehicle early
You can request a hearing for the early release of the vehicle. This is true for your spouse or for the car’s owner. During the hearing, law enforcement will determine whether or not the impounding was legal or if there were other circumstances around it. While anyone can request such a hearing, not all hearings are granted.
Following a vehicle being impounded, the agency that impounded it must notify its owner within three days. Then, the vehicle’s owner has 10 days to request a hearing. If you plan to request a hearing, you should be aware that there is a small administrative fee that you must pay for the hearing.
Paying impound and storage fees
If your vehicle is impounded for an Arizona DUI, you must pay the cost for impounding the vehicle as well as the towing charges and administrative fees the agency charges.
Even if you are found not guilty of the DUI charge, you’ll need to pay the fees related to impounding, including the per day storage fee, towing charges and administrative fees.
What a second-time DUI offender can expect
If you have another DUI on your record when you’re pulled over, you can face more severe penalties than you did for your first conviction. And vehicle impounding is not the only consequence that the legal system adds to the offenses.
A second DUI could mean more severe jail time of up to 180 days. You’ll also be required to pay a base fine of $500. If you didn’t have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle before, you’ll certainly be required to have one now. Additionally, you could have your license suspended for a year.
An Arizona DUI attorney can help you avoid facing second-time DUI charges with a strong defense. There are a variety of ways your attorney can build a case proving your innocence, regardless of the evidence against you. It’s important that you retain legal counsel as soon as possible though so that they can offer you advice throughout the process. You don’t want to get trapped during questioning with law enforcement and be left with a conviction you have to carry for your lifetime.