If you are arrested for DUI in Fresno, there is a strong possibility that your vehicle will be impounded. The following is some basic information about vehicle impoundment in California after being arrested for DUI.
According to California law, if an officer determines that a driver has been convicted of a DUI within the past ten years, and that one or more of the following circumstances applies to the driver, the officer may immediately impound the vehicle:
- The driver was operating a vehicle when the person had a .08% or more BAC; and/or
- The driver refused to participate in a chemical test.
If this happens to you, your vehicle will be impounded for anywhere between five to thirty days. The specific time frame will depend on the facts surrounding your arrest. Typically, the owner of the vehicle will receive a notice from the impounding agency within two working days after the impoundment.
If the impounding agency fails to notify the owner within two days, the agency cannot charge for more than five days' impoundment. Further, the agency must have a published telephone number that provides for 24-hour information regarding the status of your vehicle. The available information must also include the owner's right to request a hearing.
There are certain situations where the impounding agency must release the vehicle to the owner prior to the end of the impoundment period:
- When the vehicle is stolen;
- When the vehicle is subject to bailment and is driven by an unlicensed employee of a business establishment, such as a parking garage; or
- When the driver of the vehicle is not the sole registered owner of the vehicle and the vehicle is being released to another registered owner of the vehicle who agrees not to allow the driver to use the vehicle until after the end of the impoundment period.
Keep in mind that a vehicle will not be released without presentation of the owner's valid driver's license that allows for lawful operation of the impounded vehicle. The owner must also submit proof of current registration, or upon an order of the court.
In Fresno, it will cost you $450 to reclaim your vehicle after it was impounded for a DUI offense. In addition to the impound fees, you are also required to pay any towing charges that result from the vehicle being impounded. Those fees will depend on the private towing company. When retrieving your vehicle, you must pay with cash or a credit card.
Being arrested for DUI in Fresno can become quite costly! In addition to the impound and towing fees, be prepared to pay administrative fees, court costs, and fines. Along with the financial burden, a DUI may lead to penalties including:
- Jail time;
- Alcohol education classes;
- Installation of an ignition interlock device;
- License suspension; and
- Community service.
If you have been arrested and charged with DUI in Fresno or the surrounding areas, contact my office as soon as possible. I have worked with many clients just like you and can ensure that you will receive the best defense possible!