The most common scenario following a DUI arrest, your car can be towed from the scene and impounded until you can pick it up following your release. While this is the most common case, it can be the most difficult one to navigate. This scenario is another where time is of the essence; for every day that your car is impounded, you will be charged storage fees, in addition to the towing charge.
Step one to reclaiming your car will be identifying who towed it and where they took it. Pinellas County law enforcement utilizes several towing companies and any one of them could have been who towed your car. You will need to contact the arresting agency, and they will be able to tell you what company was responsible for towing your car; then, you can contact the company to get information on where it was towed for storage.
Step two is to gather all of the necessary documentation to prove that you are the rightful owner of the car. This typically includes an “Impound Release” form from the police agency, your ID, your insurance information, and proof of ownership (i.e. a bill of sale, title, vehicle registration, or lease agreement). Some of these documents may be stored in your car; if this is the case, you can return to the arresting agency, which will be able to provide needed information from the Driver and Vehicle Information Database (DAVID). Or, they may tell you to proceed to the impound lot and secure the documents from your car once you arrive.
You will also want to be sure that you are prepared with payment for any towing, impound, or storage fees (as well as possible fines) in order to reclaim your vehicle. If your arrest was in the City of St. Petersburg, you may face an additional $500.00 fine as part of a local ordinance violation in order to secure the release of your vehicle.