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Help – My Friend Got My Vehicle Impounded

The DUI laws in Arizona state that if you get an extreme or super extreme DUI, your vehicle will be impounded for 30 days.  What happens if your friend or spouse borrows your car, gets an extreme DUI, and gets your vehicle impounded? Will you be car-less for the next month?

Lucky for you, the answer is “No.” If someone gets an extreme DUI while they are driving someone else’s car, the owner can retrieve it from the towing company’s storage facility. You will have to go to the police station in the city where the DUI occurred to sign an Agreement of Operation. You will need to present a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance to get your vehicle back.

If your spouse was using your vehicle when they were arrested for extreme DUI, you will have to sign an agreement that states that you will not allow your spouse to drive the vehicle without a valid driver’s license. Your spouse’s license will be suspended for 90 days, but they may apply for a restricted driving permit to restore some of their driving privileges 30 days after the suspension began. If your spouse calls you from the scene of arrest, you can avoid having your vehicle impounded by informing the arresting officer that you will retrieve the vehicle. Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-1382 governs Arizona extreme DUIs, and Arizona Revised Statutes §§ 28-3511 – 28-3514 govern impoundments.

When you reclaim your car, you will also be responsible for paying all the fees to get the vehicle released. You must pay an administrative fee at the police station and the fees for towing and storage at the towing company. Since you were not responsible for the impoundment, you may require your friend who got the DUI to reimburse you for these costs. If your friend refuses to pay, you can file a civil lawsuit against them (likely in small claims court) to get your money back.

Be careful about who you let drive your car. If they get your vehicle impounded, you can get it back but it’s a hassle if you have to go through the process.

If you have been arrested for DUI, contact an attorney for DUI at Oracle Law Group Office P.C. for assistance with your DUI case.

Photo credit: walknboston from Flickr