License Plate Impoundment

The state of Minnesota has the authority to take the license plates off your car and destroy them in a process known as license plate impoundment. For this to happen, the driver must have been driving while drunk and have an additional aggravating factor.

Ryan & Grinde, Ltd., in Rochester can take immediate action on your behalf to help you prevent license plate impoundment. Call us locally at 507-218-7935 or toll free at 888-399-7281.

Aggravating Factors For License Plate Impoundment

In addition to driving while intoxicated, the driver must:

  • Have a prior DWI or alcohol-related license revocation within 10 years of the current violation
  • Have a BAC of .16 or more
  • Have a passenger in the vehicle under the age of 16
  • Have been involved in an incident that occurred while the driver's license is canceled as inimical to public safety, which means that the individual has been found to present a serious danger to others while driving

The arresting police officer is usually the party who issues the license plate impoundment, but it can also be ordered by a judge or the Department of Public Safety. The driver will be ordered to surrender the license plates from all of his or her vehicles, not just the vehicle that was involved in the DUI offense. A permit for a temporary license will be issued. The permit will be valid for seven days if the vehicle is registered in the driver's name and 45 days if it is registered to someone other than the driver.

Whiskey Plates

During the time that the driver's license plates are impounded, he or she can be issued "whiskey plates." The plates begin with W and often have the formation of WX, WY, WV or WX. Vehicles with whiskey plates help law enforcement spot offenders. Drivers with whiskey plates often feel as though they are subjected to a high level of scrutiny.

We Can Challenge License Plate Impoundment

A defense attorney can take swift action to challenge the license plate impoundment on your vehicles. To schedule a consultation with our attorneys in Rochester or St. Charles, call 507-218-7935 or toll free 888-399-7281 or contact us online.