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Attorneys William R. Christoph & Nicholas W. Christoph

Driving on a Suspended License for DUI – Vehicle Impoundment

by | Mar 13, 2024

If your license is suspended by the DMV for DUI and you are caught driving, the vehicle you are driving will be impounded for 30 days, even if it is not your vehicle. Additionally you will be criminally charged for “driving on a suspended license” DUI related, which carries a minimum 10 days in jail up to six months, fine, and an ignition interlock device on any vehicle you drive for 1 to 3 years regardless whether there was alcohol involved at the time of this stop. California law empowers law enforcement to impound vehicles of drivers who drive if suspended to reinforce no driving with a suspended license.

When law enforcement encounters a driver without a suspended license, they will impound the vehicle. This involves towing the vehicle to an impound lot, where it will remain until the owner resolves the situation. Even if the driver is not the owner, the car will be impounded and the owner will have to pay all expenses to get it out, including the 30 day impound.

While impoundment may seem harsh, it serves as a deterrent against driving while suspended or revoked. It encourages people to complete whatever requirements are necessary to get a license back.  Individuals who believe their vehicle was unlawfully impounded or wish to contest the action may challenge the basis for impoundment with the law enforcement agency or the Court.

In California, police impoundment of vehicles driven by individuals with suspended licenses serves as a tool for upholding and enforcing DMV and Court ordered suspensions. By understanding the laws and consequences associated with DUI and driving on a suspended license, individuals can avoid putting themselves in a situation which results in a vehicle being impounded, which also results in a probation violation and a new criminal case being filed.

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