Vehicle Towing & Impound
The landscape of vehicle impounds for DUI arrests changed greatly on July 22, 2011. This was the date that Hailey's Law went into effect in the state of Washington.
The law was named after Hailey French, of Whatcom County. On that date the law changed to remove whatever discretion a deputy, trooper, or police officer previously had in determining what to do with a vehicle when making a DUI arrest. The law now requires that it be towed from the scene of a DUI arrest and impounded for a minimum of 12 hours.
Hailey French was injured seriously when she was involved in a head-on collision with a drunk driver in January of 2007. The driver had been arrested for DUI several hours before the crash, but was not booked into the jail, and her vehicle was not impounded. The arrested driver had been driven home by the WSP trooper, who had warned her not to drive until she had sobered up. She ignored the warning, went back to her car, and caused the crash.
There are provisions in Hailey's law that allow for a registered owner to claim the car prior to the 12 hour period elapsing, but only if they were not the arrested person, and if they were not present in the car at the time of the arrest.
If you have questions about the effect of a vehicle impound in a DUI arrest, please feel free to contact one of our DUI attorneys for a free consultation.