WA State DUI Impound Law
If you are arrested for DUI, recent Washington State legislation requires that your vehicle is impounded for a minimum of 12 hours. It is very important that you don’t argue with the arresting officer about having your vehicle towed. DUI arrests are often times videotaped and prosecutors can use any statement that you make against you.
Remaining silent will:
- Protect your rights
- Prevent you from making an incriminating statement
- Enable your DUI lawyer to communicate on your behalf
There are 3 ways in which a vehicle can be retrieved within the required 12 hour period:
If the owner of the vehicle was not arrested, they may pickup the vehicle.
If the co-owner of the vehicle was not arrested, they may pickup the vehicle.
If the vehicle is used for farming or commercial purposes, it can be retrieved by the legal owner, as long as they were not arrested.
The purpose of the automatic impound legislation is to prevent a driver from returning to their vehicle and driving while still under the influence. In 2007, there was an unfortunate incident where a woman was arrested for DUI and then later returned to her vehicle. A serious accident resulted, followed by a lawsuit against the Washington State Patrol. The WA State legislature enacted the “impound law” in July of 2011.