If your car is impounded after you are arrested for a DUI, can/will the police search it?

UPDATED: May 29, 2011

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If your car is impounded after you are arrested for a DUI, can/will the police search it?

A friend was just arrested and released for DUI. His car was impounded and there may be a small amount of drugs in the car. Will they arrest him again?

Asked on May 29, 2011 under Criminal Law, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The police will search the impounded vehicle.  This is an inventory search so that your friend won't be able to claim that the police stole any items from his car.  In addition to an inventory search of the contents of the vehicle, the purpose of the search is also to check for any hazardous items that may pose a danger to the police or members of the public.

When the police find the drugs, your friend will be charged with possession.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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