2011 ORS § 809.700¹
Court-ordered impoundment or immobilization upon conviction
  • grounds
  • duration
  • vehicles subject
  • return
  • security interest holder rights

A court may order a motor vehicle impounded or immobilized upon conviction for the traffic offenses described in this section. The authority to impound or immobilize a vehicle under this section is subject to all of the following:

(1) The court may order a vehicle impounded or immobilized under this section when a person is convicted:

(a) For driving a motor vehicle while the persons license is suspended or revoked in violation of ORS 811.175 (Violation driving while suspended or revoked) or 811.182 (Criminal driving while suspended or revoked); or

(b) On a second or subsequent charge of driving while under the influence of intoxicants in violation of ORS 813.010 (Driving under the influence of intoxicants).

(2) A vehicle may be impounded or immobilized under this section for not more than one year from judgment.

(3) The following vehicles may be impounded under this section:

(a) Any motor vehicle of which the convicted person is the owner.

(b) Any motor vehicle which the convicted person is operating at the time of arrest.

(4) A vehicle may be immobilized under this section if the vehicle is registered in this state and is a vehicle that may be impounded under subsection (3) of this section.

(5)(a) If a vehicle is ordered to be immobilized under this section and if the convicted person resides in the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agency that arrested the person for the offense described in subsection (1) of this section, the arresting law enforcement agency shall install a vehicle immobilization device on the vehicle. If the convicted person does not reside in the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agency that arrested the person, the sheriff of the county in which the person resides shall install the device.

(b) A vehicle ordered immobilized under this section shall be immobilized at the residence of the owner of the vehicle or at the location where the owner regularly parks the vehicle.

(c) A vehicle ordered immobilized under this section may be immobilized only in a location at which the vehicle may be legally stored for the period of the immobilization order. If no location is available at which the vehicle may be legally stored, the vehicle may be impounded for the period of the immobilization order.

(d) A vehicle owner who fails to allow installation of a vehicle immobilization device ordered under this section shall be subject to contempt of court proceedings under ORS 33.015 (Definitions for ORS 33.015 to 33.155) to 33.155 (Applicability).

(6)(a) If a vehicle is impounded under this section, the person convicted shall be liable for the expenses incurred in the towing and storage of the vehicle under this section, whether or not the vehicle is returned to the person convicted.

(b) If a vehicle is immobilized under this section, the person convicted shall be liable for the expenses incurred in installation and removal of the vehicle immobilization device and for rental of the device during the period the device is installed on the vehicle, whether or not the vehicle is released to the person convicted.

(7) A vehicle shall be released or returned to the person convicted or the owner only upon payment of the expenses incurred in the immobilization or towing and storage of the vehicle under this section.

(8) If a vehicle is not reclaimed within 30 days after the time set for the return of the vehicle in an impounding order or release of the vehicle in an immobilization order, the vehicle may be disposed of in accordance with procedures under ORS 819.110 (Custody, towing and sale or disposal of abandoned vehicle) to 819.215 (Disposal of vehicle appraised at $500 or less).

(9) The court may order that a motor vehicle of which the convicted person is not the owner be impounded or immobilized under this section only if the court is satisfied by a preponderance of the evidence that the owner knew or had good reason to know that the convicted person:

(a) Did not have a valid license and knowingly consented to the operation of the vehicle by the convicted person; or

(b) Was operating the vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants.

(10) The authority to impound or immobilize a vehicle under this section is subject to the rights of a security interest holder under a security agreement executed before an arrest for violation of an offense for which the vehicle may be impounded or immobilized under this section. A vehicle shall be released for the purpose of satisfying a security interest if:

(a) Request in writing is made to the court;

(b) If the vehicle has been impounded or immobilized, the security interest holder pays the expenses in towing and storage or in immobilization of the vehicle; and

(c) If the registration of the vehicle has been suspended under ORS 809.010 (Court-ordered suspension), the security interest holder takes possession of the vehicle subject to the suspension of the registration remaining in effect against the registered owner.

(11) A security interest holders obligation to pay and right to recover towing and storage or immobilization expenses under subsection (10) of this section are limited to the recovery of those towing and storage or immobilization expenses incurred during the initial 20-day period when the vehicle was in public storage or immobilized, unless the authority taking the vehicle into custody or immobilizing the vehicle under this section has transmitted by certified mail a written notice to the holder concerning the accrual of storage or immobilization expenses. If the vehicle is in private storage, the lien claimant shall transmit the written notice. [1983 c.338 §385; 1985 c.16 §200; 1987 c.730 §18; 1993 c.385 §3; 1997 c.540 §3; 1999 c.467 §2; 2009 c.371 §2]