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Traffic Citation Issued to driver
In a typical non-accident DUI case the driver, at this stage, is still at the jail. The driver has been arrested for DUI at the scene. He or she was read the "Implied Consent" warning by the officer and has either taken or refused to take the tests requested by the officer and has been advised of the results if a breath test was performed. The procedures known as "booking the prisoner" will usually be done now and may seem to take an unnecessarily long period of time to complete.
A person finding himself in this position can expect personal body searches at the convenience and discretion of the officers, photographing, fingerprinting and health or other "screening" procedures among other forms. The driver should be allowed during this period of time to begin making contact and arranging for bail, attorney consultation and the like. The arresting officer may perform some of these functions, but it is usually done by jail personnel.
Be cautious here. It is not uncommon for these sheriff's employees to be called as witnesses for the state. The friendliness or casual conversation of these officers may turn on the driver in support of the opinion of the arresting officer as to the driver's condition. Do not discuss the events of the evening. Remain silent and ask for an attorney, right then. Even a telephone call to an experienced DUI attorney may provide the driver with enormous benefits.
Many sheriffs and municipal police departments have adopted policies of holding persons charged with DUI for several hours after the arrest, regardless of how quickly they can make bail. These departments are reported to say they do this to protect the public from a dangerous driver being prematurely returned to the road, or something to that effect. The police seem to hold the driver for these extended periods even when someone else arrives to drive them home. It seems to me to be just one more way where the driving driver is more severely punished than people charged with other misdemeanor traffic offenses.
Now, on to the citation itself. It is at the jail where most DUI citations are issued as opposed to "on the road" where most people are used to receiving "traffic tickets." The citation you receive will be just that; a traffic ticket. There will usually be more than one citation issued in a DUI case. The first one is issued to justify stopping the driver in the first place to establish "probable cause." Then the officer will issue a DUI charge to the "less-safe" driver and maybe an additional DUI citation for driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration if the results of the breath test indicated an unlawful level.
This citation is a "charging document" and contains a summons for the driver to appear at a stated time and place. Depending on the court, it may remain the only charging document or it may be replaced by a "formal accusation" at an arraignment to follow. The driver may also be given other citations for any additional charges the officer wishes to bring.
Also I need to point out that the driver will commonly be issued a document casually referred to as a "temporary driving permit". The arresting officer may hand this 8.5 x 11 inch yellow form (DMVS #1205) to the driver, acting as though a favor is being given, and say "keep this in a wallet or purse to drive on temporarily" or words to that effect. WATCH OUT! You are being lulled into a false sense of security! I consider this a very "dangerous document."