How Long Can New Jersey Police Hold My Car When I’m Arrested For DWI?

A Tom’s River man was recently arrested for DWI not once, but twice, in a three day period.

Both times, police were summoned to a liquor store after they received calls about a driver passing out in the parking lot.

The first time that police arrested Brian Nelson of Lacey, NJ, he was charged with DWI, reckless driving, and refusing to submit a breath sample.

His car was impounded under John’s Law, but was released back to him after 12 hours.

The second time police were called to JR’s Liquors, they found Nelson back in his vehicle, and charged him with DWI, reckless driving, failure to submit a breath sample, and having an open container in his car.

Nelson’s car was again impounded, and this time the police wanted to hold it, and set bail for Nelson himself.

But they couldn’t. In New Jersey, DWI is not a criminal offense, only a traffic violation.

You can’t be held on bail for a traffic violation, nor are there workarounds for police to keep your property when you haven’t been charged with a crime.

Police are required to release your vehicle after 12 hours.

These are likely small comforts to Brian Nelson, but they do show the strange results that can come from New Jersey’s unique approach to drunk driving enforcement.

If you’ve been charged with DWI in the state, work with an attorney who has helped more than 1,040 New Jersey drivers avoid conviction.

Call Matthew Reisig today at 732-625-9660 for a free consultation.

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