DUI and Car Impounding
It is standard procedure that after an individual is arrested for driving under the influence, that the vehicle he or she was driving is towed and then impounded. However, having the car towed is up to the discretion of the individual police officer. In some instances, if there is a sober passenger in the car, the police officer may allow that individual to drive the car away. If the police officer is very understanding, he or she may allow the driver to call a trusted, sober individual to drive away the car after the arrest. If those options are unavailable and the car is impounded, this can be yet another often overlooked hassle, and an expensive additional cost, for an individual arrested for driving under the influence.
The car will remain in the impound lot until the car owner retrieves the vehicle, which cannot be done until the requisite fees for towing and storage are paid. In the event a period of time passes and the registered owner has not paid the fees and reclaimed the car, the towing/storage company can take steps to sell the car at auction in an effort to recoup the amounts owed for moving and holding the vehicle.
By contract, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department uses three different towing and impounding companies: Ewing Brothers, Quality Towing, and Fast Towing. Usually, the police officer(s) at the scene determine which towing company to utilize, on a rotating basis. To find out if an arrested driver's car has been impounded, the driver, upon release from custody for any charges for which he or she was booked, can call one of the impounding companies. Another option is to call the police information line at “3-1-1” and provide information about the arrest and the car, such as the Event Number and the car's license plate number. In most cases, the 3-1-1 operator will be able to ascertain where and when the car was transported and impounded.
The car will not be released from any impound company's lot until the owner has paid all the associated fees. On average, the impound company charges impoundment and storage costs of $30 per day the car is retained on the storage lot. This is in addition to the fees generated for the actual towing and impounding of the vehicle. There are a litany of additional fees which may, in some cases, become due and owing based on the circumstances, such as: auction-preparation fees, “extra-man” fees, light-duty fees, lot-visit fees, yard clean-up fees, lien fees, and/or administrative fees, depending on the particular case and what the towing company had to do for the vehicle. Most of the local towing companies accept both cash and credit/debit card as payment. In order to retrieve a car from a Las Vegas impound lot, the registered owner must provide proof of legal title to the impounded car. The towing company will accept actual title or registration papers, along with the owner's photo ID. The owner may be different from the actual driver of the vehicle, which may prove to be another burden for a person arrested for DUI.
In the event a vehicle's owner never comes to pick up the car from impound, the towing company can place the car up for auction. Typically, impound lots will keep a car for seven (7) days to thirty (30) days before deciding to auction the vehicle. If the car sells for less than what the total impound fees are, the impound company can sue the owner for the difference in the cost. A person arrested for a DUI cannot just abandon their vehicle on an impound lot and expect there not to be consequences. Many people believe that their insurance company will cover the costs associated with towing a vehicle and subsequent storage. While the individual's insurance policy will control this situation, in most cases the policy holder will be responsible for some, or all, of the associated costs. While a small percentage of auto insurance providers may cover the cost of towing, most do not and even a fewer amount would cover the costs of impound.
If you, or your loved one, are accused of a DUI it can be a very stressful time in one's life. For this reason, it is in the defendant's best interest to have an experienced Las Vegas DUI Attorney in your corner, fighting for you or your loved one. Being charged with a crime is an extremely scary and unpleasant event. It can be very stressful if you do not know how to navigate the system and you do not have an experienced Las Vegas DUI Attorney working for you. The quicker you hire an experienced Las Vegas DUI Attorney, like Josh Tomsheck, the quicker he can begin working on your case. Mr. Tomsheck is a lifetime member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, is a member of the National College for DUI Defense and is a member of the DUI Defense Lawyers Association. Mr. Tomsheck has the benefit of over a decade of working with both misdemeanor DUIs and Felony DUIs. Attorney Josh Tomsheck has hundreds of satisfied DUI clients, as he has been able to get charges reduced, or dismissed entirely. For his case results, please click here. For your free consultation, please contact him here today!