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DUI Booking and Bail

Oftentimes, an arrest for DUI or another alcohol-related offense is the first experience a person has with this side of the law. Even under the influence, an arrest can be an unimaginably scary and stressful episode if you do not know what to expect. Many people have heard something about “booking,” or criminal processing, and bail, but remain unfamiliar with what these terms actually mean.


The details of criminal processing vary by jurisdiction, but most jails follow the same basic steps:

  • Recording of suspect’s basic information (name, date of birth, address, physical characteristics)
  • Recording of details regarding alleged crime
  • Search of police records for any past history of crimes committed by suspect
  • Fingerprinting, photograph, and searching of the suspect (includes confiscation of personal belongings)
  • Placement of suspect in a jail or holding cell


At its core, bail is the idea of paying for your release after being booked, in return for the promise to appear at your court date and all applicable preliminary proceedings. The amount at which a bail is posted depends on several factors, including the suspect’s criminal history, the seriousness of the offense, and the suspect’s ties to community, family, and employment. Thus, a millionaire who has been arrested for DUI three times before and has just injured a carload of people will likely have a much higher bail than, say, a working-class first-time offender who was simply pulled over and determined to be above the limit.

If the suspect is unable to pay the full bail or find others who will “bail him out,” he or she may seek a bail bond. Typically, a bond is obtained via a bail bond agency, which may require collateral for their agreement to take responsibility for the bail. The suspect pays a small percentage of the bail (usually 10 percent) to the bonding agency in exchange for agreeing to appear in court.

Contact Us

For more information on booking, bail, bonds, and anything else related to a DUI charge, contact experienced Rhode Island DUI attorney Matthew Marin today by calling 401-287-4384.