EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1, 2009, EL PASO POLICE OFFICERS WILL HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO IMPOUND (TOW) A VEHICLE IF THE DRIVER CANNOT SHOW PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (INSURANCE).
[Amending 12.08.220 Impounding Vehicles] | [Impound Ordinance]
Sec. 601.051 of the Transportation Code, Requirements of Financial Responsibility:
A person may not operate a motor vehicle in this state unless financial responsibility is established for that vehicle through
- a motor vehicle liability insurance policy that complies with Subchapter D;
- a surety bond filed under Section 601.121;
- a deposit under Section 601.122;
- a deposit under Section 601.123; or
- Self-insurance under Section 601.124.
IMPOUNDED VEHICLES WILL BE TOWED TO THE MUNICIPAL VEHICLE STORAGE FACILITY, LOCATED AT 11615 RAILROAD [map]
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO IF MY VEHICLE IS TOWED?
- The owner or the owner’s designee would have to bring proof of financial responsibility and their driver’s license to a d towing in order for the vehicle to be released
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE OCCUPANTS OF THE VEHICLE IF IT IS IMPOUNDED? WILL THEY BE LEFT OUT ON THE STREET?
- No, the officers will be entrusted to ensure the safety of the occupants. if they are adults over the age of 17, the officer may take them to the nearest police regional command center, residence or public place with a telephone.
- If the occupants are under the age of 17 the officer’s will request a parent, legal guardian or custodian to pick them up. the officers may also take them to a nearby residence.
WILL MY VEHICLE BE IMPOUNDED IF I AM STOPPED AT A TRAFFIC CHECKPOINT?
- No, you may receive a citation but your vehicle will not be impounded at a traffic checkpoint for not having proof of financial responsibility (insurance)
WHAT ARE SOME REASONS WHY MY VEHICLE MAY BE IMPOUNDED?
- Some examples of when an officer may impound a motor vehicle are listed below. these are some situations that combined with a motorist who is driving without proof of financial responsibility (insurance) may result in the vehicle being impounded. merely being stopped for a violation is not cause enough for your vehicle to be impounded. the motorist must not have proof of financial responsibility (insurance) combined with one of the below:
- Being arrested
- Being involved in an accident
- Speeding more than 15 miles over the posted speed limit
- Reckless driving
- Improper or erratic traffic lane change
- Following too closely
- No driver’s license
- Stop sign or stop line violation
WHAT IF I HAVE INSURANCE AND JUST DON’T HAVE IT AT THAT MOMENT?
- The officers are to make every reasonable effort to verify the existence of insurance prior to impounding the vehicle. this includes checking the state database, calling the texas department of insurance (if the contact is during their business hours) and waiting for a responsible party to provide proof of financial responsibility (insurance)
WILL THE OFFICERS CHECK BY USING THE TEXAS SURE PROGRAM TO SEE IF I HAVE INSURANCE?
- Yes, the officers will check through the appropriate law enforcement channels to verify and validate the existence of insurance
IF SOMETHING SHOULD HAPPEN WHERE A CRIMINAL CHARGE TAKES PLACE, OR AN ACCIDENT WHERE MY VEHICLE IS INVOLVED, CAN MY VEHICLE STILL BE IMPOUNDED IF THE VEHICLE IS NOT INSURED?
- Yes, if the motorist is involved in a traffic accident and without insurance the vehicle can be impounded. if the motorist is arrested for another charge such as a dwi, or outstanding warrants that are discovered during the traffic stop, the vehicle may be impounded. ?