Car Following a DC DUI

When a person is arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, the police have a few options for making arrangements for the person’s vehicle. Most commonly when a person is arrested, the police move the person’s vehicle to a parking space somewhere on the side of the street where they were arrested. They leave the vehicle there so the person can go back and get the vehicle when they are released after being booked and processed.

This is the most common way for the police to deal with the person’s vehicle. When there is no safe or legal place to put the vehicle, the police can drive the person’s vehicle to the police station and leave it at the station where the person is being booked and processed. When the person is released, they can retrieve their vehicle. If you wish to learn more about what happens to person’s car following a DC DUI, speak with a Washington DC DUI attorney. An experienced lawyer may be able to provide you with valuable insight.

What Should an Individual Know About Driving a Car Following a Release from a Police Station?

It is important for people to know that if they are released from a police station after being booked and processed for driving under the influence allegation, they are given an instruction to wait to drive their vehicle until they are sober. This is important to remember because being released from the police station does not necessarily mean that a person can just get dive their car following a DC DUI.

It is a rare occurrence, but sometimes when a person is booked and processed on DUI allegations, they immediately get back into their vehicle after being released from the police station. When they are driving home, they are pulled over and arrested for another DUI. It is possible, so it is important to remember that being released from booking and processing does not necessarily mean a person can get back into their vehicle and immediately start driving again.

Placing the Car in Control of the Passenger

Another option the police have for handling a person’s car following a DC DUI is the vehicle in the control of a passenger or another person they determine is in the position to be able to drive. For example, a person is arrested for a driving under the influence allegation and consents to let one of their passengers drive the vehicle.

The police may do field sobriety tests on that passenger to determine whether they are capable of driving or they may do field sobriety tests on another person such as a family member the arrested driver called to pick up the vehicle. The police determine whether the person is in a suitable condition to drive and may permit them to drive the vehicle.

Tow and Impound

Finally, the police may tow and impound the car following a DC DUI. This is more common in situations when there is no ability for the police to drive the vehicle or find a safe place to keep it. Sometimes the vehicle was involved in an accident, making it unsafe to remain on the street.

In those situations the police have the vehicle towed and impounded. The person who is arrested for driving under the influence makes arrangements to have their vehicle towed to a garage or to their house at their own expense.

What is the Process of Retrieving a Vehicle from the Impound Lot?

When a person’s vehicle is towed as a result of their DUI, they are given the tow receipt of their release after booking and processing or after the person is released from the court. The person can take the tow receipt to the DC impound lot to retrieve their vehicle. They should bring their identification and the tow receipt to the DC impound lot and provide that information to make arrangements to drive the vehicle off the impound lot if it is in the condition to be driven. If it is not, the person needs those documents to arrange for another towing company to take the vehicle to a garage or to some other location.

Inventory Search Following the Towing of a Car

When a person’s vehicle is towed after they are arrested for a DUI, the police may conduct an inventory search of the vehicle once it arrives at the tow lot. Inventory searches are an exception to the general rule that police need a warrant to search a vehicle. When a vehicle is towed, the police are permitted to inventory items in the vehicle to ensure that the items in the vehicle at the time of the towing are the same items in the vehicle when it was picked up.

There is a legal reason for police conducting inventory searches, but for practical purposes, police conduct inventory searches because they can use any alleged illegal items found in the vehicle during the inventory search as evidence against the person or to establish a basis for additional charges. For example, if a person’s vehicle is towed as a result of their DUI arrest and the police conduct an inventory search of the vehicle at the tow lot and find an unregistered firearm in the vehicle, the person can potentially be charged with possession of an unregistered firearm in addition to their DUI charges.

It is not common for a police to conduct inventory searches as a result of DUI cases. However, it can and does happen where prosecutors can charge people with illegal items found in a vehicle that resulted from inventory searches conducted after towing a vehicle.