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A. Procedure Upon Arrest:
1. Except when authorized or directed under state law to immediately take a person arrested for a violation of any traffic law before a magistrate, any law enforcement officer, upon making an arrest for violation of the traffic ordinances of the town, shall take the name, address and operator's license number of the alleged violator and license plate number of the motor vehicle involved and shall issue to him in writing a notice to answer to the charge against him at a place and at a time at least forty eight (48) hours after such arrest to be specified in the notice. (1976 Code § 10.32.010; amd. 2016 Code)
2. The officer, upon receiving the written promise of the alleged violator to answer as specified in the notice, shall release such person from custody. (1976 Code § 10.32.010)
B. Failure To Obey Notice A Misdemeanor:
1. Any person who violates his written promise to appear, given to an officer upon an arrest for any alleged traffic violation, is guilty of a misdemeanor regardless of the disposition of the charge of which he was originally arrested.
2. Upon such failure to appear, a complaint may be entered against such person and a warrant of arrest issued. (1976 Code § 10.32.020)
C. Notice On Illegally Parked Vehicle:
1. Whenever any motor vehicle without a driver is found parked or stopped in violation of any of the restrictions imposed by this traffic code or other ordinance of the town, the officer finding such vehicle shall take its registration number and may take any other information displayed on the vehicle which may identify its user, and shall conspicuously affix to such vehicle a notice in writing for the driver to answer to the charge against him within a specified time at least forty eight (48) hours later, during the hours and at a place specified in the notice.
2. The officer shall send one copy of such notice to the town court. (1976 Code § 10.32.030; amd. 2016 Code)
D. Failure To Comply With Notice:
1. If a user of a motor vehicle charged with the violation of any restriction on stopping, standing, or parking under this traffic code does not appear in response to a notice affixed to such motor vehicle within the time specified in the notice, the proper law enforcement officer shall send to the owner of the motor vehicle to which the notice was affixed a letter informing him of the violation and requiring him or the aforesaid user of the vehicle to appear and answer the charge specified in the notice. The letter shall declare that in the event such letter is disregarded for a period of five (5) days, a complaint will be filed and warrant of arrest issued. (1976 Code § 10.32.040; amd. 2016 Code)
2. The failure of the owner or the said user of the vehicle to appear and answer within five (5) days of receipt of the letter shall constitute a misdemeanor, regardless of the disposition of the original charges. (1976 Code § 10.32.040)
E. Authority To Impound Vehicles:
1. Law enforcement officers are hereby authorized to remove a vehicle from a street, highway or public parking lot to the nearest garage or other place of safety, or to a garage designated or maintained by the town under the circumstances hereinafter enumerated:
a. When any vehicle is left unattended where such vehicle constitutes an obstruction to traffic. (1976 Code § 10.32.050; amd. 2016 Code)
b. When a vehicle upon a street or highway is so disabled as to constitute an obstruction to traffic and the person in charge of the vehicle are, by reason of physical injury, incapacitated to such an extent as to be unable to provide for its custody or removal.
c. When any vehicle is left unattended upon a street or highway and is so parked illegally as to constitute a definite hazard or obstruction to the normal movement of traffic.
d. When any vehicle is parked illegally in a parking meter zone for an interval of more than six (6) hours.
2. Whenever an officer removes a vehicle from a street or other locality as authorized in this section and the officer knows or is able to ascertain from the registration records in the vehicle, the name and address of the owner thereof, the officer shall, within a reasonable time, make every reasonable effort to ascertain the identity of and to locate the owner of the vehicle and to give, or cause to be given, notice in writing to the owner of the fact of such removal and the reasons therefor and of the place to which said vehicle has been removed. In the event any such vehicle is stored in a public garage, a copy of such notice shall be given to the proprietor of such garage.
3. Whenever an officer removes a vehicle from a street or other locality under authority of this section and does not know and is not able to ascertain the name of the owner, or for any other reason is unable to give the notice to the owner as hereinbefore required, and in the event the vehicle is not returned to the owner within a period of three (3) days, then and in that event the officer shall immediately send, or cause to be sent, written report of such removal by mail to the state department of justice whose duty it is to register motor vehicles, and shall file a copy of such notice with the proprietor of any public garage in which the vehicle may be stored. Such notice shall include a complete description of the vehicle, the date, time, and place from which removed, the reasons for such removal, and name of the garage or place where the vehicle is stored.
4. Before the owner or person entitled to possession of any vehicle removed and impounded as provided herein shall be permitted to remove the same from the custody of the town, he shall furnish evidence of his identity and ownership of the vehicle, or right of possession thereto, shall sign a receipt for the vehicle, and shall pay any towing charges incurred by the town in towing said vehicle, and shall pay such charges for the storage of the vehicle as shall have been incurred by the town.
5. The payment of such fees and charges, as provided herein, shall not operate to relieve the owner or operator of such vehicle from liability from any fine or penalty for the violation of any law or ordinance on account of which such vehicle was removed and impounded.
6. Any vehicle left or parked on any street for five (5) consecutive days or longer shall be removed and sold in accordance with Montana Code Annotated sections 61-8-356, 61-12-401, and 61-12-408. (1976 Code § 10.32.050)