Any size and weight compliance agent authorized to serve process under the provisions of this chapter may hold a vehicle without an attachment summons or court order, but only for such time as is reasonably necessary to promptly petition for an attachment summons to attach the vehicle.After finding reasonable cause for the issuance of an attachment summons, the judicial officer conducting the hearing shall inform the operator of the vehicle of his option to either pay the previously assessed fees and penalties due the Commonwealth or contest the charge through the attachment proceeding. If the operator chooses to make payment, he shall do so to the judicial officer, who shall transmit the citation along with the fees and penalties to the Department for distribution in accordance with subsection B of § 46.2-613.1.The Commonwealth shall not be required to post bond in order to attach a vehicle pursuant to this section. The size and weight compliance agent authorized to hold the vehicle pending a hearing on the attachment petition shall also be empowered to execute the attachment summons if issued. Any bond for the retention of the vehicle or for release of the attachment shall be given in accordance with § 8.01-553 except that the bond shall be taken by a judicial officer. The judicial officer shall return the bond to the clerk of the appropriate court in place of the officer serving the attachment as otherwise provided in § 8.01-554.In the event the fees and penalties are not paid in full, or no bond is given by, or for the person responsible for paying the fees and penalties, the vehicle shall be stored in a secure place, as may be designated by the owner or operator of the vehicle. If no place is designated, the officer or size and weight compliance agent executing the attachment summons shall designate the place of storage. The owner or operator shall be afforded the right of unloading and removing the cargo from the vehicle. The risk and cost of the storage shall be borne by the owner or operator of the vehicle.Whenever an attachment summons is issued for unpaid fees and penalties the court shall forward to the Department both a copy of the order disposing of the case and the citation prepared by the size and weight compliance agent but not served.Upon notification of the judgment or administrative order entered for such unpaid fees and penalties and notification of the failure of such person to satisfy the judgment or order, the Department, the Department of State Police, or any law-enforcement officer or size and weight compliance agent shall thereafter deny the offending person the right to operate a motor vehicle or vehicles on any highway of the Commonwealth until the judgment or order has been satisfied and a reinstatement fee of $ 50 has been paid to the Department. Reinstatement fees collected under the provisions of this section shall be paid by the Commissioner into the state treasury and shall be set aside as a special fund to be used to meet the expenses of the Department.When informed that the right to operate the motor vehicle has been denied, the driver shall drive the motor vehicle to a nearby location off the public highways and not move it or permit it to be moved until such judgment or order has been satisfied. Failure by the driver to comply with this provision shall constitute a Class 4 misdemeanor.All costs incurred by the Commonwealth and all judgments, if any, against the Commonwealth due to action taken pursuant to this section shall be paid from the fund into which the civil penalties levied pursuant to § 46.2-613.1 are paid.Officers of the Department of State Police and all other law-enforcement officers are vested with the same powers with respect to the enforcement of this chapter as they have with respect to the enforcement of the criminal laws of the Commonwealth.
2011, cc. 62, 73; 2012, cc. 22, 111.