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If You were Arrested for DWI

If the car was taken in connection with a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge, the police may allow you to get your car back, in some situations. You may be able to get your car back if all of the following are true: (1) you have not been arrested before (particularly not for a DWI charge), (2) you did not have an extraordinarily high blood alcohol level, and (3) there are no aggravating factors. Aggravating factors include things such as injuries to people or property.

If you are in this situation, the police department may make a settlement offer to you and you will probably have to go through a treatment program in order to get your car back. If you accept a settlement, you give up your right to a Krimstock hearing.

The police may hold your car until you complete the treatment program, or until the program says you do not have a drug or alcohol problem. If you are already in a treatment program, you can submit proof of enrollment in the program to the police or the OATH Judge. This proof might be a letter from someone in charge of the program, or some similar document.

NOTE: If you fail to complete the treatment program, the police will not return your car. Getting a signed treatment release paper from the treatment center will help get your car returned faster.

A treatment program might also be required in your criminal case, so make sure to coordinate with your criminal defense attorney to find out if that treatment program can help you get your car back.

When trying to find a treatment program, keep in mind that they are not all the same. You should look for a program that is right for you and acceptable to the police department.

To find out more about treatment programs, visit the New York State OASAS Treatment Services website. OASAS stands for the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services. Their web site has a directory of OASAS-approved treatment providers which you can search.

For more information about the entire hearing process and how it will work, please see the A Quick Summary page on this website. You should also read the District Attorney's Release page, because you will need the release to get the car out of the pound.