An arrest for drunk driving has many harsh and unintended consequences. One of the most vexing is immobilization. When a person is arrested for DUI the arresting officer has discretion as to whether or not the suspect’s car will be towed. Sometimes safety concerns, agency policy or other concerns will cause the officer to call for a tow truck to impound your car. I have also had cases where an officer goes to great lengths to secure a suspect’s car so that they will not incur the inconvenience of an impoundment. As with other aspects of Ohio DUI law, having a prior offense will have more severe consequences.
FIRST OFFENSE OVI
If you do not have a prior DUI/OVI offense getting your car back is relatively easy as Ohio DUI law does not authorize immobilization as a penalty for a first offense. Here are the steps you should take to get your car back.
- Locate the proper tow lot;
- Gather enough cash (or other proper payment) to pay towing and storage fees;
- Gather proof of ownership; and
- If you were placed under and Administrative License Suspension, get a licensed driver to drive your car from the impound lot.
If you have trouble with ANY of the items above, contact DaytonDUI and we will help get your car back. We have even gone as far as having our staff drive to the tow lot on our client’s behalf. It is to your advantage to move quickly in order to save storage fees.
SECOND OFFENSE OVI
If you are convicted of a DUI and you have one prior conviction within six years, the judge will immobilize your vehicle for 90 days and impound its license plates. During the period of immobilization, the vehicle may not be driven or sold. Depending on the court, you may have to purchase a “club” and arrange for the car to be towed to your house or a secure location within the court’s jurisdiction. There is a “hardship” exception to this rule. A court may waive the immobilization requirement if a family or household member residing with the defendant is completely dependant on that vehicle for the necessities of life so that immobilization of the vehicle would be an undue hardship. If the immobilization requirement is waived by the court, the vehicle will be required to have restricted plates (yellow license plates) and must not be operated by the defendant. Again, DaytonDUI can help you through this process.
THIRD (OR GREATER) OFFENSE OVI
A third conviction within six (6) years, or a fifth conviction within twenty (20) years will result in the forfeiture of your vehicle. Frequent readers of this blog will note my numerous objections to this laws operation. The law does not have a provision to protect the credit or property interest of an innocent third party and works to create a great deal of harm to innocent people. No immobilization waiver is available for a third offense within six (6) years or a fifth within twenty (20) years.
DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia, Miamisburg, Huber Heights, Beavercreek, Centerville, Springboro, Franklin and throughout Ohio. He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671. For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitterupdates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook,www.facebook.com/daytondui and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube. You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.