1555 Bond Street, Suite 103A
Naperville, IL 60563

Se Habla Español
Call Today for a Free Consultation

Call Us630-448-2001

Can Police Impound or Seize the Car of a Drunk Driver?

 Posted on August 23,2018 in DUI

DuPage County DUI and vehicle seizure defense attorneyMost people know that the police can seize and sell assets involved in major drug crimes, such as cars, boats, and houses. But did you know that the police can also impound or seize your car if you are caught driving under the influence?

If you are ever arrested for DUI, you will take a back-seat ride in a squad car to the police station. Then, unless there was a sober passenger in the car who can drive the car home, the police will call a local towing company to pick up the vehicle and take it to their storage lot.

Impoundment of Your Car

If your car is towed following a DUI arrest, you can usually get it back by going to the towing company lot and paying the accrued towing and storage fees. However, some counties (including Will County and DuPage County) and cities also charge an administrative fee to help cover their cost of dealing with the towing company, typically in the range of $300 to $500. You must show proof that this fee has been paid in order to get your vehicle back.

If you are not the owner of the car you were driving when you were arrested, the vehicle owner may or may not have to pay the price for your mistake. The police are required by law (625 ILCS 5/11-208.7) to notify the car’s owner that the car has been impounded. The owner then has the right to contest the impoundment fees. 

Seizure and Civil Forfeiture of a Vehicle

In some DUI cases, the police may apply the Illinois civil forfeiture law (720 ILCS 5/Art. 36), which allows law enforcement to seize assets used in certain types of crimes. 

A vehicle used to commit DUI can be seized by the police if:

  • The driver does not have auto insurance.
  • The driver does not have a valid driver’s license.
  • The driver’s license is currently suspended or revoked due to a previous DUI or reckless homicide.
  • The driver has previously been convicted of reckless homicide or aggravated DUI with death or great bodily harm.
  • The driver has two or more previous DUI convictions.

The owner of the vehicle can contest the seizure at an administrative hearing. If the hearing finds that the seizure was lawful, the vehicle will typically be sold at auction, with most of the proceeds going to the law enforcement agency that made the arrest.

Hundreds of vehicles involved in drug- or alcohol-related offenses are seized each year by Illinois law enforcement agencies. While some critics complain that this amounts to “policing for profit,” law enforcement leaders respond that asset forfeiture has been a powerful tool in their efforts to reduce such crimes.

Trust an Experienced Aurora DUI Lawyer 

If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges, seek the advice of an experienced Will County DUI defense attorney without delay. At the Law Office of Patricia Magaña, we will investigate all elements of your case to develop the strongest defense possible. Contact us at 630-448-2001 for a free consultation. Se Habla Español.





Share this post:
Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Kane County Bar Association Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois
Law Office of Patricia Magaña, LLC

1555 Bond Street, Suite 103A, Naperville, IL 60563

Back to Top