(a)   Police officers are authorized to provide for the removal and impounding of a vehicle that:
      (1)   Is left unattended upon any street, highway, or bridge so as to create an unsafe or hazardous condition or obstruction to traffic, including, without limitation, when such vehicle:
         A.   Is so illegally parked so as to constitute a hazard or obstruction to the normal movement of traffic, or so as to unreasonably interfere with street cleaning or snow removal operations;
         B.   Is unattended due to the removal of an ill, injured or arrested operator; or
         C.   As the result of an accident or other emergency, is stopped, parked, or left standing or constitutes an obstruction to the restoration of traffic flow;
      (2)   Has been abandoned or junked on private or public property as provided in West Virginia Code §17-24A or is deemed and considered to be an "abandoned motor vehicle," as defined in said Article, pursuant to Section 361.04(b);
      (3)   Is unsafe, illegal or unable to be operated upon streets or highways, including, without limitation, when such vehicle:
         A.   Has been stolen or was being operated without the· consent of the owner;
         B.   Displays illegal license plates or fails to display the current lawfully required license plates or is improperly registered;
         C.   Has been damaged or wrecked so as to be inoperable or violates equipment provisions of the Traffic Code or West Virginia Code §17C-15 whereby its continued operation would constitute a condition hazardous to life, limb or property;
         D.   Was being operated by any person driving without a lawful license or while his or her license has been suspended or revoked; or
         E.   Was being operated without the security required by West Virginia Code §17D-2A- 3(d), such security being an insurance policy or qualification as a self-insurer as specified in West Virginia Code §17D-2A-3(e);
      (4)   Has been used in or in connection with the commission of, or is evidence of, a crime, including, without limitation, when such vehicle has been operated by any person who has failed to stop in case of a crash or collision; or
      (5)   Is in violation of the provisions of Section 361.04 (a) or (b) of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Charles Town, Parking Time Limit.
   (b)   Any vehicle removed under authority of subsection (a)(2) hereof (excepting a vehicle deemed and considered to be an "abandoned motor vehicle" pursuant to Section 361.04(b) of these Codified Ordinances) shall be disposed of as provided under West Virginia Code §17- 24A. Any other vehicle removed under authority of this section (including any vehicle deemed and considered to be an "abandoned motor vehicle" pursuant to Section 361.04(b) of these Codified Ordinances) shall be ordered into storage and the Police Department shall forthwith notify the registered vehicle owner of the fact of such removal and impounding, reasons therefor and the place of storage. Any person desiring to redeem an impounded vehicle shall appear at the Police Department to furnish satisfactory evidence of identity and ownership or right to possession in order to receive a release form for the vehicle. Prior to issuance of a release form, the claimant, owner or operator shall satisfy any violation for which such vehicle was impounded. The pound operator shall release such vehicle upon the receipt of the release form and payment of all towage and storage charges.
   (c)   In the instances set forth in Sections 303.07(a)(l)(B) and 303.07(a)(3)(D), a police officer may, in lieu of removing and impounding a vehicle, permit another individual authorized by the operator to remove the vehicle if such removal can be, and is, promptly accomplished.
(Ord. 2021-001  Passed 3-15-21.)