Can The Police Tow My Vehicle If I’ve Been Arrested For DUI?

Police are authorized to “seize” a vehicle when they make an arrest for certain offenses, including DUI in Ohio. Police must seize a vehicle at the time of arrest if the person being arrested is charged with a second or greater DUI within six years or for any felony DUI offense. However, the police are only supposed to seize the vehicle if it is registered in the arrested person’s name or if the arrested person is the titled owner of the vehicle.

If the police seize a vehicle after a DUI arrest, they can have the vehicle towed to one of several locations: 1) a privately owned storage lot; 2) a place controlled by law enforcement, such as the police impound lot; 3) a place owned by the person arrested, or the spouse, child or parent of the arrested person; 4) a place owned by a person who gives consent; or 5) on a public street if the vehicle is legally parked.

At the initial court appearance, a defendant may file a motion with the court asking for the release of the vehicle. It is up to the court to determine whether the vehicle will be released and if so what conditions will be imposed. Conditions can include, among other things, payment of towing and storage fees, posting bond, or the installation of an ignition interlock device on the vehicle.

If you’ve been arrested for DUI  or DWI  in Columbus Ohio and your vehicle has been seized, contact us now to learn about your rights and how to get your vehicle back.

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