Impoundment of vehicles

96 Vehicle seized and impounded for 28 days in certain circumstances
  • (1) An enforcement officer must seize and impound, or seize and authorise the impoundment of, a motor vehicle for 28 days if the officer believes on reasonable grounds that a person drove the vehicle on a road while—

    • (a) the person was disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver licence authorising the person to drive that vehicle; or

    • (b) the person's driver licence is for the time being suspended or was revoked; or

    • (ba) in the case of a person who is the holder of an alcohol interlock licence, the person operated that vehicle contrary to the conditions of that licence; or

    • (c) in the case of a person who was previously forbidden to drive because the person was an unlicensed driver or his or her driver licence had expired, the person did not hold a driver licence; or

    • (d) the person—

      • (i) had a—

        • (A) breath alcohol concentration exceeding 400 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath; or

        • (B) blood alcohol concentration exceeding 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood; or

        • (C) failed or refused to undergo a blood test, after having been required or requested to do so under section 72 or section 73; and

    (1AA) An enforcement officer must, if practicable, seize and impound, or seize and authorise the impoundment of, a motor vehicle for 28 days if the officer believes on reasonable grounds that—

    • (a) the driver operated the vehicle in a manner that breached a qualifying bylaw; and

    • (b) the vehicle is subject to a warning notice attached under section 22AF.

    (1A) An enforcement officer must, if practicable, seize and impound, or seize and authorise the impoundment of, a motor vehicle for 28 days if the officer believes on reasonable grounds that a person—

    • (a) operated the vehicle in a race, or in an unnecessary exhibition of speed or acceleration, on a road in contravention of section 22A(1); or

    • (b) without reasonable excuse, operated the vehicle on a road in a manner that caused the vehicle to undergo sustained loss of traction in contravention of section 22A(3).

    (1AB) An enforcement officer may seize and impound, or seize and authorise the impoundment of, a motor vehicle for 28 days if the officer believes on reasonable grounds that a person driving the vehicle has failed to stop as signalled, requested, or required under section 114(1) or (2).

    (1B) An enforcement officer who seizes and impounds (or authorises the impoundment of) a motor vehicle under subsection (1A) must, by means of a notice in the form approved for the purposes of section 115(1), direct that the vehicle is not to be driven on a road.

    (1C) For the purposes of this Act and any other enactment, a notice given under subsection (1B) has effect as a notice given under section 115(1).

    (1D) A notice under subsection (1B) may include a condition to the effect that the vehicle may continue to be driven to reach a specified place for repair or may continue to be driven for a given time or under limitations as to speed or route or otherwise, unless the direction referred to in that subsection has been cancelled.

    (1E) An enforcement officer who seizes and impounds (or authorises the impoundment of) a motor vehicle because he or she believes on reasonable grounds that a person has undergone an evidential breath test and has been found to have a breath alcohol concentration exceeding 400 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath,—

    • (a) must give the person a notice under subsection (2) even though the person has the right under section 70A to elect to have a blood test; and

    • (b) a further notice is not required and must not be given under subsection (2) if the person undergoes a blood test and is found to have a blood alcohol concentration exceeding 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

    (2) An enforcement officer who seizes and impounds (or authorises the impoundment of) a motor vehicle under this section must—

    • (a) complete a notice in the prescribed form, or in a form to the same effect, acknowledging the seizure and impoundment, and setting out (if the particulars are reasonably ascertainable)—

      • (i) the full name and full address of the driver; and

      • (ii) the year and make of the vehicle, and its registration plate details or vehicle identification number; and

      • (iia) if subsection (1A) applies, the date and time of the alleged offence; and

      • (iii) the date and time of the seizure; and

      • (iv) the place where the vehicle is to be impounded; and

      • (v) an outline of the person's rights of appeal under sections 102 and 110; and

    • (b) give the driver a copy of the notice, unless the driver has left the scene; and

    • (c) give the person registered under Part 17 in respect of the vehicle a copy of the notice, if that person is present at the time of the seizure, or as soon as practicable send a copy to that person by ordinary post to that person's last known place of residence or business or postal address, or address as recorded on the register of motor vehicles; and

    • (d) cause a copy of the notice to be given to the storage provider who stores the motor vehicle; and

    • (e) retain a copy of the notice for 12 months.

    (2A) The driver of a motor vehicle seized or impounded under this section must, if requested to do so by an enforcement officer,—

    • (a) provide the driver's—

      • (i) full name; and

      • (ii) full address; and

      • (iii) date of birth; and

      • (iv) occupation; and

      • (v) telephone number; and

      • (vi) driver licence number:

    • (b) provide, if known to the driver and the driver is not the registered person, the registered person's—

      • (i) full name; and

      • (ii) full address; and

      • (iii) date of birth; and

      • (iv) occupation; and

      • (v) telephone number.

    (3) The owner of an impounded vehicle has the rights of appeal provided in sections 102 and 110.

    (4) Personal property (other than property attached to or used in connection with the operation of the vehicle) present in a motor vehicle at the time of the seizure and impoundment must be released on request to a person who produces satisfactory evidence to the effect that he or she was lawfully entitled to possession of the vehicle or personal property immediately before the vehicle was moved.

    (4A) Personal property present in a motor vehicle at the time of the seizure and impoundment must be released subsequently to—

    • (a) a bailiff or constable who is executing a warrant to seize property:

    • (b) a person acting on behalf of the owner of the goods if the person produces satisfactory evidence of the owner's consent to such release.

    (5) An enforcement officer does not have to seize or impound a motor vehicle if the officer has good cause to suspect that the vehicle is a stolen vehicle or had been converted, is a write-off, or has suffered severe damage.

    (6) A vehicle to which a notice under this section relates must be released to the owner if—

    • (a) the Police have decided finally that proceedings will not be taken against the person who drove the vehicle in circumstances referred to in subsection (1) or operated the vehicle in circumstances referred to in subsection (1A) or (1AA) or failed to stop in the circumstances referred to in subsection (1AB), or such proceedings have been taken and the person is acquitted; and

    (6A) A vehicle to which a notice under this section relates must be released to the owner when the result of the blood test (if any) is notified to the person who drove the vehicle in circumstances referred to in subsection (1)(d) if—

    • (a) the blood test shows that he or she had a blood alcohol concentration of, or less than, 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood; and

    • (b) the vehicle has not already been released.

    (7) Nothing in this section authorises the seizure or impoundment of a trailer or any other vehicle without motive power that is being towed by or is attached to a motor vehicle.

    (8) Nothing in subsection (1) applies to a person driving a vehicle if—

    • (a) he or she has been ordered by a court to attend an approved course or programme; and

    • (b) the driving occurs in the course of his or her attendance at that course or programme, either,—

      • (i) in the case of a motorcyclist, under the supervision of a person who holds a current certificate of approval as a driving instructor issued by the Agency under the regulations or the rules:

      • (ii) in any other case, while accompanied by a person who holds a certificate referred to in subparagraph (i).

    (9) Nothing in subsection (1A) applies to a person operating a motor vehicle in a manner that is authorised by law within the meaning of section 22A(4).

    Section 96 heading: amended, on 2 May 2003, by section 8(1) of the Land Transport (Unauthorised Street and Drag Racing) Amendment Act 2003 (2003 No 11).

    Section 96(1)(ba): inserted, on 10 September 2012, by section 59(1) of the Land Transport (Road Safety and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2011 (2011 No 13).

    Section 96(1)(c): amended, on 16 January 2006, by section 50(1) of the Land Transport Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 77).

    Section 96(1)(d): added, on 16 January 2006, by section 50(1) of the Land Transport Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 77).

    Section 96(1)(d)(ii): substituted, on 10 May 2011, by section 59(2) of the Land Transport (Road Safety and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2011 (2011 No 13).

    Section 96(1AA): inserted, on 1 December 2009, by section 22(1) of the Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Act 2009 (2009 No 36).

    Section 96(1A): inserted, on 2 May 2003, by section 8(2) of the Land Transport (Unauthorised Street and Drag Racing) Amendment Act 2003 (2003 No 11).

    Section 96(1A): amended, on 1 December 2009, by section 22(2) of the Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Act 2009 (2009 No 36).

    Section 96(1AB): inserted, on 1 December 2009, by section 22(3) of the Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Act 2009 (2009 No 36).

    Section 96(1B): inserted, on 2 May 2003, by section 8(2) of the Land Transport (Unauthorised Street and Drag Racing) Amendment Act 2003 (2003 No 11).

    Section 96(1C): inserted, on 2 May 2003, by section 8(2) of the Land Transport (Unauthorised Street and Drag Racing) Amendment Act 2003 (2003 No 11).

    Section 96(1D): inserted, on 2 May 2003, by section 8(2) of the Land Transport (Unauthorised Street and Drag Racing) Amendment Act 2003 (2003 No 11).

    Section 96(1E): inserted, on 16 January 2006, by section 50(2) of the Land Transport Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 77).

    Section 96(2)(a)(i): amended, on 1 December 2009, by section 22(4) of the Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Act 2009 (2009 No 36).

    Section 96(2)(a)(iia): inserted, on 2 May 2003 by section 8(3) of the Land Transport (Unauthorised Street and Drag Racing) Amendment Act 2003 (2003 No 11).

    Section 96(2)(c): substituted, on 1 May 2011, by section 35(1) of the Land Transport Amendment Act 2009 (2009 No 17).

    Section 96(2A): inserted, on 1 December 2009, by section 22(5) of the Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Act 2009 (2009 No 36).

    Section 96(4): substituted, on 1 December 2009, by section 22(6) of the Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Act 2009 (2009 No 36).

    Section 96(4A): inserted, on 1 December 2009, by section 22(6) of the Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Act 2009 (2009 No 36).

    Section 96(6)(a): amended, on 1 December 2009, by section 22(7) of the Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Act 2009 (2009 No 36).

    Section 96(6)(a): amended, on 2 May 2003, by section 8(4) of the Land Transport (Unauthorised Street and Drag Racing) Amendment Act 2003 (2003 No 11).

    Section 96(6)(b): substituted, on 23 July 2011, by section 8 of the Land Transport Amendment Act 2011 (2011 No 31).

    Section 96(6A): inserted, on 16 January 2006, by section 50(3) of the Land Transport Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 77).

    Section 96(8)(a): amended, on 16 January 2006, by section 50(4) of the Land Transport Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 77).

    Section 96(8)(b): amended, on 16 January 2006, by section 50(5) of the Land Transport Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 77).

    Section 96(8)(b)(i): amended, on 1 August 2008, by section 50(1) of the Land Transport Management Amendment Act 2008 (2008 No 47).

    Section 96(9): added, on 2 May 2003, by section 8(5) of the Land Transport (Unauthorised Street and Drag Racing) Amendment Act 2003 (2003 No 11).