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10.25.010 Authority to impound vehicles.
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(1) Grant of Authority. City law enforcement officers are hereby authorized and empowered to remove, tow and impound a vehicle from a public street, highway or right-of-way to a designated vehicle impound facility, including the business location of a registered tow truck operator under the circumstances hereinafter enumerated:

(a) Whenever a driver of a vehicle is arrested in violation of RCW 46.20.342 (Driving while license invalidated); or RCW 46.20.345 (Operation under other license or permit while license suspended or revoked), such vehicle is subject to summary impoundment pursuant to the terms of this chapter at the direction of a law enforcement officer.

(b) In addition, a law enforcement officer may take custody of a vehicle, at his or her discretion after consideration of reasonable alternatives, and provide for its prompt removal to a place of safety or designated vehicle impound facility under any of the following circumstances:

(i) Whenever a law enforcement officer finds a vehicle standing upon the roadway in violation of any of the provisions of RCW 46.61.570 (Stopping, standing, or parking prohibited in specified places), the officer may provide for the removal of the vehicle or require the driver or other person in charge of the vehicle to move the vehicle to a position off the roadway;

(ii) Whenever a law enforcement officer finds a vehicle unattended upon a public street, highway or right-of-way where the vehicle constitutes an obstruction to traffic or jeopardizes public safety;

(iii) Whenever a law enforcement officer finds an unattended vehicle at the scene of an accident or when the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident is physically or mentally incapable of deciding upon steps to be taken to protect his or her property;

(iv) Whenever the driver of a vehicle is arrested and taken into custody by a law enforcement officer;

(v) Whenever a law enforcement officer discovers a vehicle that the officer determines to be a stolen vehicle;

(vi) Whenever a vehicle without a special license plate, plaque, or decal indicating that the vehicle is being used to transfer a person with disabilities under RCW 46.16.381 is parked in a stall or space clearly and conspicuously marked under RCW 46.61.581, which space is provided on private property without charge or on the public property;

(vii) Upon determining that a person is operating a motor vehicle without a valid and, if required, specially endorsed driver’s license in violation of RCW 46.20.005, or with a license that has been expired for 90 days or more;

(viii) Whenever a vehicle is illegally occupying a restricted parking zone, including, but not limited to, truck or commercial loading zone, bus or taxi loading zone, posted street construction or maintenance, or other similar zone, where, by order of the Director of Public Works, Chief of Police or Fire Chief, or their designees, parking is limited to designated classes of vehicles or is prohibited during certain hours, on designated days or at all times, if the zone has been established with signage restricting parking for at least 24 hours giving notice to the public that a vehicle will be removed if illegally parked in the zone, and where the vehicle is interfering with the proper and intended use of the zone. Signage must give notice to the public that a vehicle will be removed if illegally parked in that zone;

(ix) Whenever the driver of a vehicle is arrested for violation of RCW 46.61.503 (Driver under 21 consuming alcohol).

(x) When a vehicle with an expired registration of more than 45 days is parked on a public street.

Nothing in this section may derogate from the powers of a law enforcement officer under the Revised Code of Washington, including but not limited to RCW 46.55.080, 46.55.085, 46.55.113 or 9A.88.140, any other sections of the Pasco Municipal Code, or the common law.

(c) When an arrest is made for a violation of RCW 46.20.342 (Driving while license invalidated), if the vehicle is a commercial vehicle or farm transport vehicle and the driver of the vehicle is not the owner of the vehicle, before summary impoundment directed under subsection (1)(a) of this section, the law enforcement officer shall attempt in a reasonable and timely manner to contact the owner of the vehicle and may release the vehicle to the owner if the owner is reasonably available, as long as the owner was not in the vehicle at the time of the stop and arrest and the owner has not received a prior release under this subsection or RCW 46.55.120(1)(a)(ii). “Farm transport vehicle” means a motor vehicle owned by a farmer and that is being actively used in the transportation of the farmer’s or another farmer’s farm, orchard, aquatic farm, or dairy products, including livestock and plant or animal wastes, from point of production to market or disposal, or supplies or commodities to be used on the farm, orchard, aquatic farm, or dairy, and that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 7,258 kilograms (16,001 pounds) or more.

(2) Notice to Owner of Liability for Costs and Fees. When any vehicle is removed, towed or impounded pursuant to this chapter the owner of the vehicle shall pay the towing and storage costs against the said vehicle, as well as any costs and fees assessed pursuant to this chapter, before said vehicle is released. Notice of impound required by RCW 46.55.110 shall be given by the tow truck operator.

(3) Tow Truck Operator. The City shall appoint by competitive bid, contract, rotational call agreement, or any combination of these methods, one or more properly licensed tow truck operators registered with the State of Washington to provide such services. The Police Department shall arrange for towing and storage of the impounded vehicle through a properly licensed tow truck operator registered with the State of Washington and contracted with the City of Pasco. It is required that the tow truck operators who contract with the City have a City business license. A copy of the towing contractor’s current towing and storage rates shall be on file with the Chief of Police and the Administrator of Pasco Municipal Court. An appointment may be rescinded by the City upon evidence that the appointed tow truck operator is not complying with the laws or rules relating to removal and storage of vehicles or this chapter. The rates for towing and storage shall be imposed in accordance with the rate schedules on file with the Chief of Police and the Administrator for Pasco Municipal Court.

(4) Costs. Any costs incurred in the removal of an impounded vehicle shall be paid by the owner of the vehicle so removed, and the same shall be a lien upon such vehicle. [Ord. 4016, 2011; Ord. 3796, 2006; Ord. 3405 § 1, 2000; Ord. 3341 § 1, 1998; Code 1970 § 10.18.010.]