When you are pulled over by the police and suspected of a DUI, you can expect a relatively predictable interaction. The police will ask for your driver’s license and insurance card. They will also run your plates. While one officer checks everything out, another may ask you a few questions about where you were and what you were doing that night. If an officer sees any sign of drinking, drug use, or inebriation, they may ask you to get out of the car. Once outside, you could be asked to take a roadside breath test and perform one or more standardized field sobriety tests (FST).
Based on your interaction with the officers, the results of the breath test, and your scores if you perform the FSTs, the police might arrest you for a DUI. While your first concern is for yourself and getting a lawyer as soon as possible, your next thought may be for your vehicle. What happens to your car when you are arrested?
Your Vehicle May be Impounded
What happens to your vehicle may depend on where you were stopped, where it is parked, and how forgiving the police are. If your vehicle is lawfully parked on the side of the road or in a parking lot, the police may let you leave it. You may be allowed to contact a friend or family member to retrieve it and drive it home or you may be expected to do that once you are released from jail.
However, the police can also automatically have your vehicle towed and impounded upon a DUI arrest. This is even more likely if you were stopped in a place that would leave your vehicle in a dangerous, risky, or unlawful spot, such as the side of the highway or a no parking zone. If the vehicle or items inside are evidence, then the police will impound it until it can be thoroughly searched and cataloged. If you are under 21 and had alcohol in your vehicle, it could be impounded for up to 30 days as part of your punishment.
Getting Your Vehicle Back
If your vehicle is impounded, the police must give you information on how you can get it back. This may include an address to where it is located or simply the company and its contact information. They should also inform you of when you can pick it up how much it will cost to retrieve it. Many impound lots charge a fine per day, which means you should get it back as soon as you are legally and logistically able to.
When it is time to get your vehicle out of impound, carefully review whether you are entitled to drive it home or not. A DUI arrest often results in an automatic license suspension. However, this may not go into effect for a few weeks. If you can retrieve your vehicle back within days of the arrest, you may be allowed to drive it. However, if a license suspension is already in effect, you will need to coordinate with a friend or family member who can go with you and drive it back to your home.
Contact a Detroit Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help
If you were arrested for a DUI/OWI in Michigan, do not hesitate to ask for legal help. At Davis Law Group, we are here to help you manage this situation, protect your rights, and fight to minimize the consequences of the arrest or conviction.
Contact us at (313) 818-3238 to schedule an initial consultation.