20-96. Detaining property-hauling vehicles or vehicles regulated by the Motor Carrier Safety Regulation Unit until fines or penalties and taxes are collected.

(a) Authority to Detain Vehicles. - A law enforcement officer may seize and detain the following property-hauling vehicles operating on the highways of the State:

(1) A property-hauling vehicle with an overload in violation of G.S. 20-88(k) and G.S. 20-118.

(2) A property-hauling vehicle that does not have a proper registration plate as required under G.S. 20-118.3.

(3) A property-hauling vehicle that is owned by a person liable for any overload penalties or assessments due and unpaid for more than 30 days.

(4) A property-hauling vehicle that is owned by a person liable for any taxes or penalties under Article 36B of Chapter 105 of the General Statutes.

(5) Any commercial vehicle operating under the authority of a motor carrier when the motor carrier has been assessed a fine pursuant to G.S. 20-17.7 and that fine has not been paid.

(6) A property-hauling vehicle operating in violation of G.S. 20-119.

The officer may detain the vehicle until the delinquent fines or penalties and taxes are paid and, in the case of a vehicle that does not have the proper registration plate, until the proper registration plate is secured.

(b) Storage; Liability. - When necessary, an officer who detains a vehicle under this section may have the vehicle stored. The motor carrier under whose authority the vehicle is being operated or the owner of a vehicle that is detained or stored under this section is responsible for the care of any property being hauled by the vehicle and for any storage charges. The State shall not be liable for damage to the vehicle or loss of the property being hauled.

(c) The authority of a law enforcement officer to seize a motor vehicle pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall not be affected by the statutes of limitations set out in Chapter 1 of the North Carolina General Statutes. (1937, c. 407, s. 60; 1943, c. 726; 1949, c. 583, s. 8; c. 1207, s. 4; c. 1253; 1951, c. 1013, ss. 1-3; 1953, c. 694, ss. 2, 3; 1955, c. 554, s. 9; 1957, c. 65, s. 11; 1959, c. 1264, s. 5; 1973, c. 507, s. 5; 1985, c. 116, ss. 1-3; 1993, c. 539, s. 345; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1995, c. 109, s. 2; 1999-452, s. 18; 2000-67, s. 25.11; 2005-361, s. 1; 2010-129, s. 2.)