What to Do When Your Car Gets Impounded After a DUI Arrest in Arizona: A Guide

Feature Article

Getting charged with DUI is a serious offense. Not only will you face hefty fines, but you may also face jail time, especially if this is not your first offense. However, what happens to your car after a DUI arrest can be equally as stressful. Under Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) 28-3511, law enforcement can tow and store impounded vehicles for up to 20 days. This can result in an additional financial burden, on top of the fines and legal fees already incurred. In this feature article, we will explore what happens to your car after a DUI arrest in Arizona and what you can do to retrieve your vehicle.

Arizona Impound Laws Explained

As mentioned earlier, Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) 28-3511 allows law enforcement to impound a vehicle for up to 20 days if the driver has been arrested for DUI. This is based on the idea that a driver who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a danger to himself and others on the road. Therefore, removing the vehicle from the driver's possession is seen as a way to protect the public and deter future occurrences of driving under the influence.

It's important to note that the driver is responsible for all fees associated with the impound, including towing and storage fees. In addition, if the vehicle is not retrieved within the allotted time frame, the impounding agency can sell the vehicle at a public auction.

Retrieving Your Impounded Vehicle

If your car has been impounded after a DUI arrest in Arizona, the first step is to contact the impounding agency to find out where your car is located and what steps you need to take to retrieve it. You'll need to bring a few documents, including proof of ownership, valid driver's license, and proof of insurance. In addition, you'll need to pay all fees associated with the impound and show that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is within the legal limit before the vehicle can be released to you.

What Happens if You Can't Afford to Retrieve Your Car?

Unfortunately, impound fees can be expensive, and many people may not have the funds to pay for them. In some cases, impound agencies may work with drivers to set up payment plans, but this is not guaranteed. Additionally, some organizations, such as the DUI Abatement Fund, may be able to provide financial assistance to help with impound fees.

The Importance of Seeking Legal Representation

If you've been charged with DUI in Arizona, seeking legal representation is crucial. Not only can a lawyer help you navigate the legal system and potentially reduce fines and jail time, but they can also help you understand your rights in regards to impounding. For example, if no valid reason existed for your vehicle to be impounded, your lawyer may be able to have the impound fees waived or reimbursed.

Additional Consequences of a DUI Charge

While the impounding of your vehicle can be a difficult and costly consequence of a DUI arrest, it's important to remember that the consequences of a DUI charge can be far-reaching. In addition to hefty fines and the potential loss of driving privileges, a DUI charge can also result in increased insurance rates, job loss, and damage to your reputation.


If you've been charged with DUI in Arizona and had your vehicle impounded, it's important to take steps to retrieve your car as soon as possible. Contact the impounding agency to find out what fees and documents you'll need to provide to retrieve your vehicle. In addition, seek legal representation to help navigate the legal system and to understand your rights in regards to impounding. Remember that a DUI charge can have significant and long-lasting consequences, so it's important to take steps to minimize the impact of this charge on your life.

Impounded car after DUI arrest