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DUI Vehicle Impound: Up To 30 Days?

Believe it or not, Arizona’s DUI impound laws may put you in a position where you would have been better off to have lost your car.

Why the Officer Will Take Your Vehicle

First, you must be legally stopped and arrested for DUI. If you’re under 21 and there is alcohol in your system while driving or your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above .15, the officer may impound your vehicle for at least 30 days.

The officer, of course, must collect evidence prior to impounding your vehicle. For the most part, an underage driver’s admission that they were consuming alcohol prior to or while driving is a sufficient factual basis to allow the officer to impound the vehicle. A reading of a .15 or more on a portable breath test or the breath test at the station or mobile DUI station (this is called an Intoxilyzer 5000 or 8000) provides sufficient factual basis for impoundment. Unless you were blood tested at a hospital facility, it is unlikely that you will have blood results on the night of the arrest. However, a BAC over .15 may also serve as the factual basis for impoundment.

Your vehicle can be impounded for other reasons as well. In addition to an extreme DUI (BAC of .15 – .199), a super extreme DUI (BAC of .20 and above), or if you are under age 21 and driving with any amount of alcohol in your body, your vehicle can also be impounded if your driving privileges are revoked, suspended or if you have an accident while driving without insurance.

For example, suppose you are stopped by an officer, your BAC is .088, and the officer informs you that your driver license was suspended for failure to pay a traffic ticket. The officer may then impound your vehicle for 30 days.

If you have been charged with a DUI or Drug related DUI, contact the Arizona criminal defense lawyers at Oracle Law Group Office P.C. for assistance with your criminal case.