Why was My Car Towed when I was Arrested for DUI?

Seattle DUI lawyer

If arrested for DUI this WILL happen.

One of the questions we’re often asked at the Seattle DUI Guys is why your car was towed when you were arrested for DUI in Seattle.

It’s usually a shock. You’ve got someone that can pick the car up but the cops won’t let you. So what’s the deal?

Find out below.

Hailey’s Law

When you get arrested for a DUI your vehicle must be towed and held for at least twelve hours. That’s the law. The cops have no discretion.

This was not always the case, though. Before July 22, 2011, if you were arrested for DUI the officer had the option to release the vehicle to a sober driver, leave it parked, or have the vehicle towed.

On July 22, 2011, Hailey’s Law went into effect, placing a mandatory impound hold on any vehicle. Only once the minimum 12 hour hold is up may you go and retrieve your vehicle.

Hailey’s Law was created after, as most DUI laws are, a tragic accident. Someone was arrested for DUI, released, went back to their car and drove again, and got in an accident, almost killing the people they hit (Hailey). To make sure that never happens again they created a mandatory tow rule.

Exception to Hailey’s Law

There is only one exception to this rule. If you are the registered owner of the vehicle and someone else was arrested for DUI in your car, then you can have the car released from the tow company without having to wait for the entire twelve hours.

How do I Get My Car Once it’s Been Towed?

The arresting officer should have given you the tow company’s information. If the officer did not then you should contact the police department that arrested you. This information should be on the ticket you received or somewhere on the paperwork. Hopefully you can remember what police department arrested you.

Here are a couple of numbers to get you started:

Seattle Police Department – 206.625.5011.

Washington State Patrol – 425.401.7788.

Once you find out who actually towed your car, call the tow company and to find out if they actually have it, when they’ll release it, and how much it will cost (you have to pay for the car to be released – just another one of the hidden costs of a DUI arrest).

Also be sure to ask what documentation is required in order for you to retrieve your car.

Towing rates differ depending on the towing company so ask what the fee will be. And remember, you can only get your car after twelve hours has expired from the time of your arrest.

So, to wrap up, if you’re arrested for driving under the influence, the first thing you should do is call a DUI lawyer. The second thing you should do is get your car out of impound.

If you’ve been arrested for DUI call today – 206.651.4245 – to schedule your free consultation.

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