In some cases, a person’s conduct can lead to his or her arrest based on another driver driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. One of the most common ways this may occur is if a car owner allows an intoxicated person to drive the car owner’s vehicle. This is why it is essential to contact a Cook or Lake County DUI Attorney immediately.
Under Illinois law (625 ILCS 5/16-202) it is unlawful for the owner, or any other person, employing or otherwise directing the driver of any car to require or knowingly to allow the car to be driven on Illinois highways in any way that is against the law. Additionally, it is also against Illinois law for one person to aid or abet another in the commission of a crime such as DUI, or to permit someone to drive while intoxicated. (625 ILCS 5/16-20; 625 ILCS 5/18a-305).
If a drunk driver takes your car without your permission and later gets arrested for DUI, it is unlikely that you, as the car owner, will be held liable if you did not know the driver was drunk. This is because the law requires some level of knowledge from the car owner that the driver was drunk, or that the driver would be drunk while using the car.
The Secretary of State may sometimes allow drivers who have prior convictions for DUI to drive if their cars are fitted with a device that allows the driver to operate it only if his or her blood alcohol content is under the legal limit. An intoxicated driver cannot operate a car with an interlock device. If you, as a car owner, allow someone with prior DUIs and an interlock device installed to use your car, and the driver gets arrested for DUI, it might be argued that you aided and abetted the new DUI.
When a driver is arrested for DUI, the police may have the car impounded. Once a driver is arrested on a DUI, the car can be impounded regardless of who owns it. The owner of the car, and not the driver, is financially responsible for getting the car released.
In addition to towing and storage fees, there may be additional charges that a car owner would have to pay to get the car released from impound. In Chicago for instance, the car owner would have to pay an additional administrative fee of $2,000. (Chicago Municipal Code section 7-24-226). If the car is impounded near a school or park, the fee can be increased to $3,000. While the car owner may get the money back from the driver who received the DUI by filing a civil case, the car owner cannot contest the fees or other charges based on the fact that the owner was not driving or responsible for the car getting impounded.