Mandatory impound or incapacitation for the cars of motorists convicted of DUI is the law of the land in Florida. However, many residents are not aware there are options and exceptions to this rule that may save them a bit of cash or help them avoid losing the right to use their cars.
A first-time DUI conviction makes it mandatory for any car registered to the convicted driver to become immobilized or impounded for 10 days. Drivers can meet this requirement by hiring a company to place a lock on their steering wheel while parked at their home or other location of their choice.
A second conviction for DUI increases the period of immobilization to 30 days, and drivers facing their third DUI conviction cannot access their vehicles for three months. It is important to note that while preparing a criminal defense against a DUI that time spent in jail will not count as part of the automobile immobilization.
Drivers who can demonstrate that impounding or immobilizing their vehicles will cause them excessive hardship may be able to convince the court to modify this punishment on their behalf.
The most common plea made to the court is that the vehicle to be impounded is the sole source of transportation for an entire family. Defendants have also been successful at preventing a vehicle used predominantly for business purposes from going to the impound.
When one of these hardships applies to a particular case, the attorney for the defendants should make the court aware of the extenuating circumstance at the time of sentencing. The driver will not need to impound his or her car if the court agrees the hardship exists.
A DUI conviction can result in several difficult consequences for convicted motorists. Individuals accused of DUI may be able to lessen the impact of the charges by consulting with an attorney.