Your life can turn upside down if you are arrested for driving under the influence in New Jersey. Even if you are not convicted, you can expect to have your driver’s license suspended and your car to be impounded. This is what that means for you.
Vehicle impoundment after a DUI
Driving under the influence carries many negative consequences. Under state law, your vehicle can be impounded for at least 12 hours. While you cannot get it yourself due to your driving privileges being suspended as your case is pending, you can have someone else pick it up for you after those 12 hours have passed. You are also responsible for all fees, which must be paid in full before your vehicle is returned to you.
Before the police can impound your vehicle, however, you must submit to a breath test to determine whether your blood alcohol concentration is over the legal limit. If you have the test and your BAC is lower, the police won’t have a reason to impound your car.
On the other hand, if you refuse to take a breath test, the police can automatically impound your vehicle.
Police can search your car
If you are arrested for DUI, the police may be permitted to search your vehicle during the impound. However, they need a warrant to do that and can only obtain one when the circumstances of your arrest make it plausible to perform a search. For example, if beer bottles were clearly visible at the time of your arrest, the police can obtain a search warrant to search your vehicle.
DUI charges can be challenged. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to find the best defense for your case.