What does Vehicle Impoundment mean?
Vehicle impoundment is the seizure and forfeiture of a driver's car after a drunken driving conviction. Vehicle impoundment is most common after a driver has committed their second or third drunk driving offense within a given period of time (which varies by state). The goal of impoundment is to deter a driver from driving under the influence in the future by removing their ability to operate their vehicle. This action has become less common with the recent proliferation of Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs), which prevent drunk drivers from starting their car if their BAC is above a specific limit.
Not all states impound vehicles; some states have decided impoundment is an excessive punishment. States which decide to impound vehicles will allow the driver to regain possession after a specified time and after paying fines and penalties. Although some opponents of vehicle impoundment argue it is too severe a penalty, proponents of the measure, as well as the courts, have decided that DUI causes such a danger to the public that repeat DUI offenders may have their cars confiscated.