Vehicle Impound and Search after DUI Upheld

Apr 21, 2010

The California First Appellate District held that a CHP Officer who impounded a vehicle for safekeeping that belonged to a defendant who was arrested for DUI acted reasonable when searching the vehicle pursuant to an “inventory search.” A large amount of cash and several bags of marijuana were seized from the vehicle. The defendant argued that such an impound and search was improper becasue the vehicle could have been left parked on the street, and cited CHP manual policies. The Court disagreed and found that the determination to impound or remove a vehicle pursaunt to the community caretaking function was reasonable under the circumstances of the case.

The case is: People v. Shafrir, C.A. 1st, March 29, 2010; A125880; 10 C.D.O.S. 4701