Vehicle Impound and Utah DUI Arrests

The vehicle impound is one of the most annoying parts of a DUI arrest. When a police officer makes an arrest for DUI in Utah, the law requires him to do one of two things:

  • Impound the vehicle; or
  • Release the vehicle to a  registered owner of the vehicle or to another sober responsible adult who has a driver’s license.

    A vehicle impound is a guarantee for a Utah DUI arrest.
    Cars get impounded upon getting arrested for DUI.

If the police officer impounds the car, he calls a tow truck service to come and pick up the car.  The vehicle is then towed to a state impound yard or a garage area.

Inventory of the Car

Before a vehicle can be impounded for a drunk driving offense, the car must be inventoried.  The inventory process, however, is very invasive.  Law enforcement rips cars to shreds.  They use the inventory process as an excuse to remove paneling on the interior of the car and to remove other things in the vehicle in an attempt to find contraband.  The inventory process becomes even more invasive when someone is found to have marijuana or other drugs in addition to driving under the influence of alcohol.  We have had many clients who have complained of suffering hundred of dollars of damages resulting from the inventory search.  Because inventorying is legal, it is very difficult to challenge the law enforcement agency or receive any kind of remedy.

The Impound

In addition to the high cost that accompanies the inventory process, the vehicle impound is another expensive part of getting a DUI.  After the car is impounded the only way you can get it out is to pay the impound fee, which can run hundreds of dollars and even more than a thousand dollars.  Add that on top of the bail money you may have to pay to get out of jail and you are coming out of pocket thousands of dollars.

For more questions concerning your Utah DUI, call our criminal defense lawyers at 801.413.1753 for a free phone consultation.  You can also click here to search for an impounded vehicle in Utah.