Vehicle impoundment

An overview of vehicle impoundment offences.

Police can immediately impound your vehicle for 30 days if they suspect upon reasonable grounds you have committed :

Common questions asked about vehicle impoundment are explained below.

Your vehicle could be impounded for any of the following offences:

  • speeding at 45 km/h or more over the speed limit (or 145 kilometres per hour or more if the speed limit is 110 kilometres per hour)
  • deliberate loss of traction
  • unnecessary noise/smoke
  • organising or participating in street racing 
  • riding a miniaturized motorcycle on a road/road-related area 
  • dangerous driving (including whilst pursued by police)
  • careless driving
  • failure to have proper control of a vehicle
  • deliberately or recklessly entering a level crossing when a train is approaching
  • refusing to stop when directed by police
  • carrying more passengers than there are seat belts
  • First offence for unlicensed driving, disqualified driving or driving in breach of a relevant licence condition (alcohol interlock ‘I’, zero blood alcohol concentration ‘Z’)   (from 29 October 2018)
  • drink-driving or combined drink and drug-driving where the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is 0.10 or more
  • Intentionally or recklessly exposing an emergency services worker or custodial worker to risk by driving (from 29 October 2018)
  • Damaging an emergency services vehicle (from 29 October 2018)
  • Driving without an appropriate supervising driver when learning to drive (excludes motorcycle learner). Any vehicle being driven by the learner driver can be impounded regardless of who owns the vehicle.

From 29 October 2018, offenders who have committed any impoundment offence in the previous six years can also have their vehicle immediately impounded by police for the following offences: 

  • drink-driving with a BAC of 0.05 to 0.099
  • drug-driving (failing a roadside drug test)
  • combined drink and drug-driving with a BAC of less than 0.10

The court can also order vehicle impoundment for another 45 days to 3 months for any second impoundment offence committed in a six-year period.

If a driver commits an impoundment offence for a third time within a six-year period they could have their vehicle permanently confiscated by the court.



Drivers and riders found guilty by a court of certain high-risk offences leading to impoundment or immobilisation of their vehicle may be ordered to complete a Safe Driving Program.

To report hoon driving activity call the Crime Stoppers Hoon Hotline on 1800 333 000 or visit the Crime Stoppers website.

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