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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 23 : Motor Vehicles

Chapter 013 : Operation of Vehicles

Subchapter 013 : Drunken Driving

(Cite as: 23 V.S.A. § 1213a)
  • § 1213a. Immobilization of vehicle

    (a) Immobilization. At the time of sentencing after a second or subsequent conviction under section 1201 of this title, the court may, upon the motion of the State, and in addition to any penalty imposed by law, order the motor vehicle operated by the defendant at the time of the offense seized and immobilized by a law enforcement agency designated by the court, as provided in this section and section 1213c of this title.

    (b) Immobilization on owner’s property. A motor vehicle subject to an immobilization order shall be immobilized, whenever possible, on property owned by the owner of the vehicle or on a parking space legally available to the owner of the vehicle. An immobilized vehicle is not exempt from enforcement of liens held by third parties.

    (c) Immobilization on State or private property. If the owner of the motor vehicle does not own property or have a parking area on which the vehicle can be immobilized, the vehicle shall be impounded on property owned by the State or on private property. All costs of impoundment shall be paid by the defendant. The period of impoundment shall run as if the vehicle were immobilized.

    (d) Expiration of immobilization order. An order of immobilization under this section shall expire in 18 months or when the defendant obtains a valid operator’s license, whichever comes first.

    (e) Release of vehicle. When an immobilization order expires, and when the costs provided for in this section have been paid in full by the defendant, the vehicle shall be released to its owner.

    (f) Costs. All costs of towing and impoundment shall be paid by the defendant before the vehicle is released to its owner. If the defendant fails to pay the towing and impoundment costs within 30 days after the immobilization order expires, the State is authorized to sell the vehicle by public auction pursuant to the procedures in 27 V.S.A. chapter 13. The proceeds from the sale of the vehicle shall be used first to offset the costs of towing, impounding, and releasing the vehicle. Any balance remaining, after any liens on the vehicle have been paid in full, shall be paid to the owner of the vehicle.

    (g) Disbursement of proceeds. Proceeds from the defendant’s payment of the release fee and towing and impoundment costs shall be disbursed to the law enforcement agencies that incurred the costs.

    (h) Tampering. A person who tampers with an immobilization device or mobilizes a vehicle that is subject to an order of immobilization shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both. (Added 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 18.)