It’s 2:00 a.m. early on a Saturday morning. You’ve been arrested for driving while impaired (DWI) and gone through the testing process. So what happens now? Depending on the circumstances of the offense, DWI arrestees are either booked and released, booked into jail and a bail amount is set, or booked into jail and held without bail until they can see a judge.

In certain DWI situations, state statute dictates the amount of bail or conditions of release that must be imposed. For example, when a person is arrested for second degree DWI, or is arrested for DWI while having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.16 or more or a child in the car, the court must impose either maximum bail, which is $12,000, or release the person under the condition that they abstain from alcohol during the pendency of the case and submit to an alcohol monitoring program.

Book and release situations occur most frequently with first time offenders who register a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) under 0.16, and where no other aggravating factors are present. This means that officers will require that a person go through the booking process but will then release them to family or a friend, generally without any bail being posted.


If it is decided that a person will be booked into jail and a bail amount set, that person will be held until someone posts their bail. Bail can be posted by either having a family or friend post the full amount, or else they can employ a bail bondsman to post a bond. A bail bondsman will generally charge a fee of approximately 10% of the total bail amount.

If the officer decides that a DWI arrestee should be held until they see a judge, it can potentially mean a weekend spent in jail, and a day or two of missing work. This can happen to even first time offenders under certain circumstances. However, all hope is not lost. Even if arrested over the weekend, the attorneys at The Law Office of John J. Leunig can attempt to reach the on-call judge and have bail set, so that the arrested person can be released on bail without waiting to see a judge, and thus be able to make it to work on time Monday morning.

If you, or a loved one, are facing a criminal charge of any kind, contact The Law Office of John J. Leunig at 952-540-6800, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for a free consultation. The lawyers at The Law Office of John J. Leunig provide vigorous, intelligent and personalized representation to people accused of crimes in State and Federal courts.

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