Getting Your Car Back After a DUI in Missouri

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When you’re arrested for a DUI in Missouri, your car doesn’t get to go with you. And, once you’re released, even though your driving privileges are gone for the foreseeable future, you’ll want to get your car back so you have it when you are able to drive legally. 

Continue reading to learn more about how you can get your car back after a DUI and what to do in common situations that occur with your car when you get a DUI.

What Happens To Your Car if You’re Pulled Over For a DUI?

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When you are being arrested for a DUI and taken to a police station what happens to your car may or may not be on your mind (you have a lot of other stuff to worry about). When you’re arrested for a DUI in Missouri, one of two things will happen with your vehicle:

  • Your car will be impounded. When a car is impounded that means that the government is “holding” on to it for you. You will have to pay fees in order to get it back. Cars can be impounded for short or long-term periods which may be part of your sentence if you’re found guilty of a DUI.
  • Leave it on the side of the road with a tag letting other law enforcement officials know that it has been dealt with. These tags usually have a date for which the car must be picked up before it is towed. 
  • A sober person will be allowed to drive the car to your home. This is not a common occurrence and is usually only allowed at DUI checkpoints. Even then, it’s up to the police officer’s discretion for what to do with your vehicle.

Additionally, as this article states, there are even some cases where you lose ownership of your car and it becomes the property of the government. 

What You Can Do If Your Vehicle is Impounded in Missouri?

Depending on the circumstances of your arrest will depend on whether your vehicle is impounded for the short or long term. 

If the officer merely decided to have your vehicle impounded because you were being uncooperative or they wanted to make your life harder, you will most likely be able to pick up your vehicle from the impound yard within a few days. In order to be able to pick up your vehicle from a short term impound, you’ll need the following:

  • Your ID or temporary driver’s license
  • Proof of registration and insurance
  • Payment for the towing and impound fees that have accrued

Getting your car back from long term impoundment:

If your vehicle is impounded as part of your sentence you will have to wait until the period of time of impoundment is over. Often vehicles are only impounded for long periods of time based on your criminal history and the nature of the crime. Most first time DUI offenders in Missouri won’t have to deal with long term impoundment but second and third offenders may wind up with their cars being impounded for up to 90 days. And, when you consider that the daily fee for an impounded vehicle is upwards of $20 a day, you’re looking at a pretty hefty bill. 

Just like with short-term impoundment, you’ll need your ID, proof of insurance and registration, and a way to pay for all of the towing and impound fees in order to get your vehicle back.

What If You Were Driving Someone Else’s Vehicle?

Another common question that arises when someone is pulled over for a DUI is, what happens if you were driving someone else’s vehicle?

Luckily, if the car you were driving wasn’t registered to you, the car’s owner can go pick up their car at any time- they will still have to pay for the towing and impound fees as well as, show proof of ownership and insurance. Unfortunately, depending on the nature of the arrest, they may also be facing criminal charges.
No matter your situation, know that help is available to you. Call DWI Springfield today to learn more about getting your car back after a DUI and to schedule a free consultation for legal advice concerning your case.