Where a prohibited driver is found driving a motor vehicle the police may seize the vehicle and hold it in custody for forty five (45) days. The driver or owner of the vehicle shall be responsible for the towing and pound fees. The normal pound fee will be approx. seventy-five (75) dollars per day, meaning the pound fee at the end of the 45 days will be in the range of $3,300 plus the towing fee.
Where the driver is not the owner, the owner is responsible for the towing and impound fees. The only way the vehicle may be released prior to the 45 days is by way of a judges order made by application to the court.
The vehicle maybe released to the owner without a hearing, where the owner proves to the arresting officer that:
- the vehicle had been stolen from the owner
- the owner proves to the officer or court that the vehicle was taken without the consent of the owner acting reasonably.
Where the vehicle was taken without the consent of the owner, the owner may make an application to the court for a Justice to review the circumstances of the incident. At the application to release the vehicle the judge will consider;
- did the owner take reasonable precautions to ensure the driver did not have access to the vehicle,
- did the driver take the vehicle without the consent of the owner
- will the continued seizure would unreasonably penalize the owner
- how will the owner ensure that the accused does not repeat the incident
Where the Justice believes that the owner did not facilitate the driver to operate the motor vehicle the judge may order that the vehicle be released.