True but unfortunate, if a peace officer arrests or cites you, the operator of a vehicle for DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or the operator of a boat for BUI (Boating Under the Influence), the officer is required by Utah law to take possession of and impound the vehicle, boat, etc. After the vehicle is searched (for your protection of course), impounded, and towed to a locked storage yard, then you must obtain a letter of release to reclaim the vehicle.
Obtaining a Letter of Release to Get Your Car Back
To obtain a release, the vehicle owner must go to a Division of Motor Vehicles Office within 30 days of the impound and:
Present legal picture identification that proves them to be the legal, registered owner.
Provide a copy of the TC-540, Vehicle Impound Report, which is provided by the arresting officer. To be released from impound, the vehicle must be properly registered. If the vehicle is not properly registered, the vehicle must be registered and all taxes and fees paid before release.
The registered owner, even if not the operator, must pay a $350 administrative impound fee, which is in addition to any other taxes, fees, towing, impound, and storage costs.
Getting The Administrative Impound Fee Refunded
Note: The DMV will refund the administrative impound fee only if the vehicle owner provides evidence or documentation for one of the following situations:
- Proof of duplicate payment.
- The owner filed a bona fide stolen vehicle report with a police agency and DUI Release Procedures.
- Submits a copy of the police report with the refund request within 30 days of the date of the impound.
- The owner submits a letter from the Driver License Division stating that the operator’s driver license will not be revoked or suspended as a result of their DUI arrest. The refund request must be submitted within 30 days of the date of the Driver License Division letter.
Reference: Includes operation of a boat (BUI), motorcycle, ATV, other on- or off-road vehicle, including a bicycle. You’re still safe to operate the good ol’ horse when drunk.
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