One of the bedrock principles of our system is that the state cannot deprive you of life, liberty or property without due process of law. "Due process" nearly always means notice and hearing.
It is always a good idea to request a hearing, especially if there may be a subsequent prosecution. For example, if your car were impounded in Mojave because the officer claimed your BAC was above .10, your attorney would have the opportunity to challenge the tester or the equipment. Basically, any pre-trial hearing is free discovery for your lawyer. And, at trial, knowledge is power.
There are a number of defenses that you have available at an impound hearing. First of all, you must pay all the impound and storage fees, have a valid drivers' license and current auto insurance. Next, convince the hearing officer of one of the following:
These are just some of the ways that a traffic attorney could successfully argue to get your car out of impound.