If you are arrested for a DUI or other criminal offense the police tow your vehicle. In order to have your vehicle released you have to pay an “impound” fee. This fee is nothing short of a ransom. The City of Chicago impound fees are the most outrageous of the municipals.
For example, the DUI impound fee is $500.00 for most towns, however, the City of Chicago charges $2,000.00 and as high as $3,000.00 if a person is pulled over within 500 feet of a school or park.
The City of Chicago charges an impound fee of $1,000.00 for drag racing, $2,000.00 if narcotics are found in the car, $1,000.00 for driving on a suspended or revoked license, and $2,000.00 for fleeing and eluding.
These fees have to be paid before you can have your vehicle released. Once you pay the fee you can request a hearing to try to get the fee back. Specific instructions on how to request a hearing are provided when you pay the fee.
The likelihood of you receiving the impound fee back is very small because the City only has to establish that you were involved in the prohibited activity, i.e., DUI, driving on a suspended or revoked license, drag racing, by a preponderance of the evidence, which means by 51%.
As an attorney, I have represented individuals at hearings seeking the recovery of impound fees. The purpose is more geared towards seeing if the arresting officer would be present to testify. If so, it is an opportunity to have the arresting officer testify under oath. This testimony can be used against the police officer on the DUI case.
The City of Chicago’s and other cities impound fee is designed for only one purpose – – to take your money. However, if properly handled, you can turn the process around and make it an opportunity to question the police officer under oath and maybe get your impound fee back.
Below is a PDF of the City of Chicago Vehicle Impound Fee Schedule