Law enforcement will typically call in a third-party agency to tow and store a car after an OWI (DUI) arrest in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This tow entails the company's fees-- but also requires the payment of a civil penalty before the car can be released. 

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What happens to my car after an OWI (DUI) charge? 

by David Cmelik

After the standardized field sobriety tests, the preliminary breath test, and, invariably, an OWI (DUI) arrest in Iowa, law enforcement officers will typically maintain custody of a motor vehicle—now seized—until a local towing agency tows it to either the towing agency’s secure yard or city impound.

In the City of Cedar Rapids, an OWI (DUI) arrestee is assessed a civil penalty that must be paid before the car is released. That civil penalty is paid to the City of Cedar Rapids and the receipt for payment of same typically must be produced by the owner to the Cedar Rapids Police Department to release the vehicle. Once accomplished, the CRPD will contact the towing agency and release the vehicle. But wait—there’s more.


cedar rapids / iowa city criminal and OWI-DUI defense

Any firearms or other contraband in the vehicle is also seized and inventoried. Open containers are typically emptied on scene in view of the Arbitrator 360 in-car video recording system. Illicit and prescription substances are typically seized and inventoried. Such contraband may be the subject of additional criminal charges. Moreover, we haven’t even gotten to the towing agency's fees which also must be paid before the tow company will release the vehicle. And time is of the essence. The failure to timely retrieve a motor vehicle from the towing agency’s yard can have dire consequences. The car could be crushed or sold to pay the mechanic’s lien on the vehicle for the “service” of removing it from the roadway.  If you or a loved one has been arrested for OWI (DUI) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo, Vinton, Anamosa, Linn, Johnson, Black Hawk, Benton, Jones, or other Iowa counties, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC at 319-389-1889,, for a free ½ hour initial consultation today. Become an informed legal consumer and get answers in a tough situation. Remember, however, that neither a blog nor an unsolicited email establish an attorney-client relationship. Make an appointment today to speak to a lawyer at David A. Cmelik Law PLC.