Aside from the severe punishment you might face as a result of a DUI arrest and a potential suspension of your driver's license, you also risk losing access to your vehicle for twenty days. Specifically, Arizona State Statute 28-3511 requires police to tow and impound a vehicle for twenty days if you have been arrested for:
- Extreme DUI - This occurs where police allege your alcohol concentration is above .150% as measured by a blood or intoxilyzer test. Although preliminary or portable breath test results are not admissible in court, they can be used as evidence to impound your car.
- Aggravated DUI - Applies to situations where you are accused of driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol and there is a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle, your license is suspended for a prior DUI, you were driving in the wrong direction on a highway or you have two prior DUI convictions within the last six years.
How To Get Your Vehicle Released From a Twenty Day Impound?
If your vehicle has been impounded following a DUI arrest, you will be served with a "Notice of impound." This Notice will contain information about where your vehicle is located, the corresponding police agency and report number, the reason for the impound and how to request a Hearing to have it released.
You have a right to a Hearing for the purpose of getting your car out of impound. You must request the Hearing within ten days of being arrested. The Hearing will be scheduled before a police officer and usually occurs within five days of your request. At the Hearing, you may argue that no evidence exists to support a charge of Extreme or Aggravated DUI or alternatively, that you did not commit the offenses which have been alleged.
Can Your Vehicle Be Released to Another Person?
Even though evidence may exist to justify an Extreme or Aggravated DUI charge, a vehicle may be released prior to twenty days under the following circumstances:
- An arrested person's spouse may obtain the vehicle as long as they sign paperwork stating that you will not drive the car for one year
- Another person who is on the title to the vehicle may secure its release. This usually occurs where there are co-owners of a car or a person is driving a rental car when arrested.
What Are the Requirements to Obtain Your Vehicle From a Twenty Day Impound?
Whether you are successful at a Hearing, your car is released to a spouse or third person or the twenty day period has expired, there are certain requirements which must be satisfied before your car can be released. These include:
- A $150 administrative fee paid to the police department
- Storage fees paid to the towing company which cannot exceed $15 per day
- Proof of insurance, registration and a valid drivers license
- A release obtained from the police agency
Undoubtedly, a DUI conviction will result in very severe penalties. If you are charged with DUI in any city within the greater Phoenix area, you should immediately consult with an experienced DUI lawyer for assistance. Attorney Raymond Kimble is a former police officer, DUI and felony prosecutor and has represented thousands of people charged with DUI in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Phoenix and other cities throughout Maricopa and Pinal Counties over the last twenty years. Ray Kimble will have a clear understanding of all the circumstances in your case, along with the knowledge, skill and experience to protect your drivers license and achieve the best possible outcome for you.