View Full Version : Where can I find info on vehicle impoundment after a DUI arrest?

Reds Nd2
01-05-2006, 08:34 PM
A friend of mine recently had her car impounded after her boyfriend was stopped for a DUI, his third. His license was previously revoked. Apparently, when she called to find out how to get her car back, the D.A. told her the only way to get the car back was to claim it was stolen and swear out a complaint against her boyfriend. That's obviously not going to happen.

My question is, where can I find some info on the laws regarding the seizure of private property with regards to a DUI offense. This happened in the state of North Carolina. I'd like to read up on the laws before talking to the D.A. and a quick Google search didn't turn up anything useful.

The girl is a real sweet kid and with her having a baby any day now, I'd like to help her get the car back. ANY HELP, would be greatly appreciated. If you have something that may help and don't feel like posting it on the board, you can P.M. me. Any info sent in a P.M. will forever be treated with the utmost privacy and respect.

01-05-2006, 10:22 PM

01-05-2006, 10:44 PM
Look up the Ohio Revised Code on line. Any laws regarding DUI/OVI can be found under section 4511.19. Somewhere around the section 4511.191 you should find laws regarding BMV impounding procedures. If nothing else, have them contact the arresting agency. Since he was borrowing the car from a friend, it should not be subject to forfeiture or immobilization, although it has been known to happen if it is a vehicle that the offender regularly drives.

01-05-2006, 10:47 PM
Thanks for information, NJ. However, I don't see anything stated about what happens when the vehicle does not belong to the driver. How could any state have the right to seize/sell/destroy the property of the innocent party?

Try PM'ing Cougarquest... he might have some good advice.

01-05-2006, 10:51 PM
Also, if you look under Ohio Revised Code section 4503.235, it will provide you with the criteria for "innocent owner" defenses. This may be the situation that will likely apply to your friend.

01-05-2006, 11:03 PM
I guess I should've read further that this happened in N.C. Usually most states have their laws regarding DUI's online. But still, if you contact the arresting agency, they should be able to point your friend in at least the right direction. From what I read about what the local DA there was saying, I would have to question doing something like reporting the car stolen. It sounds to me as though he is encouraging the filing of a false police report, especially if the person, in good faith borrowed the car.

cincinnati chili
01-05-2006, 11:50 PM
It sounds to me as though he is encouraging the filing of a false police report, especially if the person, in good faith borrowed the car.

No kidding. If an attorney encouraged you to commit perjury, report him/her to the North Carolina bar overseers. That's bush.

01-06-2006, 12:46 AM
No kidding. If an attorney encouraged you to commit perjury, report him/her to the North Carolina bar overseers. That's bush.
Not just any attorney, but the District Attorney. This is a serious matter. Of course it's your word against his/hers, so it probably won't go anywhere, unless you get help with a sting operation and call him again. Maybe contact your local newspaper, they may able to assist in that.

01-06-2006, 12:53 AM
His license was previously revoked.

The owner of the car has the responsiblity to ensure anyone that borrows their car has a valid license. The owner of the car would be responsible for impound fees, transport, storage, etc and it's usually for a period of 30 days in a lot of states. Don't know NC law.

01-06-2006, 01:08 AM
Also, if her boyfriend would of gotten into an accident and killed/hurt someone she could of been in serious trouble.

In some instances, victims of drunk driving crashes may have cause to assert a civil claim known as "negligent entrustment" against the party who owned or controlled the vehicle driven by the intoxicated motorist. Under the doctrine of "negligible entrustment," a person may be held civilly liable for another person's injury or death if he or she was negligent in loaning or entrusting a motor vehicle to a driver knowing that the driver was incompetent or unfit to operate the vehicle safely, and then that driver caused a crash. In most states, a person can be deemed unfit to operate a motor vehicle safely by reason of age or lack of experience, a physical or mental impairment, and/or a pattern or history of habitual reckless driving. In some states, a driver is automatically considered incompetent if that driver does not possess a valid driver's license for the type of motor vehicle which he attempts to operate. In that case, a person could be held liable for knowingly entrusting a vehicle to a driver who did not possess a valid driver's license.

01-06-2006, 01:13 AM
Sorry, but I hate to be judgmental, but your friend should really think over if being in a relationship with her boyfriend should continue. He doesn't sound like a responsible person.

Of course I don't have all the facts. Just my quick judgment.

01-06-2006, 01:27 AM
Again sorry, but ain't looking good for your friend from what I can tell:

3) Pretrial release of vehicles. In various instances, vehicle may be released to the vehicle owner. In all such cases, the towing and storage fees must be paid by the party seeking release.
Oct. 1999
a) Non driving owner (Innocent owner, hereafter IO) GS 20-28.3(e); (e1)
i) Pretrial release of vehicle pending the resolution of the case. IO must petition the clerk and must post bond equal to vehicle value. Must also sign acknowledgment that he or she did not know driver had revoked license, or that if knew, vehicle was driven without consent, and this is first such acknowledgement. Vehicle released must be returned to court for forfeiture hearing
ii) Permanent pretrial release. IO may seek permanent return of vehicle by petition before clerk. Clerk must consider the petition and make a decision as soon as feasible. No judge or prosecutor involved in that decision; clerkís return of vehicle under this provision terminates forfeiture proceeding, although state may seek to establish liability for unpaid towing and storage costs pursuant to GS 20-28.3(l). GS 20-28.3(e1).
iii) Owner is innocent if he or she:
(a) Did not know and had no reason to know defendantís license revoked,
(b) Knew license was revoked, but defendant drove without permission and owner filed report of unauthorized use to police and agreed to prosecute
(c) Reported the vehicle as stolen,
(d) Rented the vehicle and the defendant was not authorized to drive the vehicle, or
(e) Leased the vehicle to another party and the lessor has no knowledge of defendantís revocation status.
Doesn't look good.

Reds Nd2
01-06-2006, 07:14 AM
Thanks for all the help everybody. The links are much appreciated.

Yes dman, I thought the laws would have been on-line but I couldn't find them and didn't really know where to look, so I turned to the one place I knew I could get some help. This is indeed the greatest board in the world.

Thanks for the leg work RBA and yes, she would definantly be better off without this guy around. The one good thing about all of this is the fact that he's looking at some serious jail time this around. Perhaps it will give her some time to realize how much better off she is without him around.

Thanks again for the help everyone.