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  • Citing for PI

    A Deputy at our department issued a citation to someone for PI. I believe the story is as follows. While enroute to a call the Deputy observed a vehicle parked at a closed bar. Deputy makes contact with the owner of the vehicle who is asleep inside the vehicle. Vehicle owner steps out of the vehicle and the Deputy observes that the owner is intoxicated. The Deputy then has the drunk call a friend of a ride who arrived at the location within 5 minutes. The drunk is issued a citation for PI. The Deputy takes off to his original call.

    The Deputy get asked by a Sgt. why he issued a citation if he was picked up from the scene by a sober driver.

    Question: Did the Deputy do anything wrong?

    I think he did nothing wrong, what do you think.
    Last edited by TEX_DEPUTY; 09-28-2009, 01:30 PM.

  • #2
    Sec. 49.02. PUBLIC INTOXICATION. (a) A person commits an offense if the person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another.
    If your officer can articulate why the subject was a danger to himself or a danger to others, then no, I don't see any problem with the citation. He obviously thought there was a danger, otherwise he would not have had the subject call a friend to be picked up correct?

    Comment


    • #3
      the drunk should have been arrested, if he's a danger to himself or others the best place is in a jail cell. I hope it wasnt a case of the "aggravated PI" that occurs down here. An officer has a DWI but arrests for PI so they dont have to do the paperwork.

      Comment


      • #4
        If your friend is catching heat, I suspect this is why.

        It sounds like the handling of this public intox matter took up a considerable amount of time. What was the nature of the call he was already dispatched to? Was handling a drunk so important that it warranted delaying his response to the other call?

        I recognize that seeing a car parked outside a bar could have been a sign of a burglary in progress or another crime, but that could have been handled by notifying dispatch and having them send another unit to check it out and continuing on his call. By electing to divert, he wound up opening Pandora's Box, delaying his response time by a considerable amount and making the department look bad to the first call for service over what was really a minor matter.

        As far as the drunk was concerned, most laws prohibit persons being in public when they are so intoxicates as to be unable to care for their own safety or the safety of others. However, in the case you describe, the person in question was apparently able to recognize that the degree of his impairment required that he stayed put, so he elected to sleep it off in his own car, on private property until he sobered up. It sounds like he was not so impaired that he was unable to care for his own safety and did not meet the elements of public intox. Therefore, no cite or arrest would be warranted
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

        Comment


        • #5
          L-1, He caught heat because he issued a citation for PI. The Sgt. felt it was unnecessary for a citation to be issued after the guy was picked up by a sober relative.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TEX_DEPUTY View Post
            L-1, He caught heat because he issued a citation for PI. The Sgt. felt it was unnecessary for a citation to be issued after the guy was picked up by a sober relative.
            That was part of my point. If he knew enough to sleep it off, he wasn't drunk and shouldn't have been cited.

            However, I suspect there was an undelying issue the sergeant didn't mention but was probably just as pi**ed about and which cauysed him to lean on your friend about the cite. That you friend diverted from a dispatched call and got tied up for an extended period of time over a drunk that wasn't drunk.
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

            Comment


            • #7
              Other than diverting from a call he did nothing wrong. And that was not necessarily wrong either. If it was a non-priority call then he's fine. PI is a Class C Misdemeanor(less than 3rd offense), which is cite-able to the appropriate JP or Municipal court. It just sounds like your sergeant wants them to go to jail. Or perhaps he thinks that if he had time to call for a ride, he had time to give him a ride to county. They don't HAVE to go to jail, they just usually do.


              Originally posted by L-1 View Post
              As far as the drunk was concerned, most laws prohibit persons being in public when they are so intoxicates as to be unable to care for their own safety or the safety of others. However, in the case you describe, the person in question was apparently able to recognize that the degree of his impairment required that he stayed put, so he elected to sleep it off in his own car, on private property until he sobered up.It sounds like he was not so impaired that he was unable to care for his own safety and did not meet the elements of public intox. Therefore, no cite or arrest would be warranted.

              That was part of my point. If he knew enough to sleep it off, he wasn't drunk and shouldn't have been cited.
              He wasn't drunk because he slept it off? That's not exactly how it works. Maybe in California, but not here. If he was intoxicated to the point that he couldn't safely operate his motor vehicle and had to "sleep it off" in a public place, then he was drunk. And you have no way of knowing whether he "slept it off" or passed out.

              That you friend diverted from a dispatched call and got tied up for an extended period of time over a drunk that wasn't drunk.
              Again, from what we were told he was in fact drunk.

              Comment


              • #8
                [QUOTE=L-1;1998766]That was part of my point. If he knew enough to sleep it off, he wasn't drunk and shouldn't have been cited.

                Umm, just becasue you understand that your not suppose to drive when your drunk, doesn't mean your not drunk!!

                As far as the code, there are many many many many ways to articulate why he was a danger to himself or others..

                I WOULD NOT WANT TO BE THE OFFICER WHO SAID, WELL HE'S ASLEEP IN HIS CAR, HE'S NOT THAT MUCH OF A BOTHER OR HE MUST NOT BE TO DRUNK IF HE DECIDED TO SLEEP AND THEN READ ABOUT A FIRERY CRASH ON SOME ROAD KILLING "IF HE NEW ENOUGH TO SLEEP IT OFF, HE WASN'T DRUNK AND SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN CITED" AND A FAMILY OF 3 COMING BACK FROM VACATION!!!

                Your Sheriff or Chief would be on your ***** then and maybe even some disclplinary action..

                As far as the Sgt. goes, if it was a priority call then yes he has a reason to be venting a little. However if it was a low priority call, he needs to back off. Articulation is what it's all about.

                To many times to Admin and Sgt's forget there true roles. It is not to tell us what to do based on there personal feelings or beliefs, but how to follow the law and be good officers.

                NO PROBLEM WITH WHAT HE DID UNLESS THE CALL WAS SERIOUS!!!!
                "If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nothing wrong with it, CCP 14.031 states you can release a PI based on certain criteria:

                  Art. 14.031. PUBLIC INTOXICATION. (a) In lieu of arresting an individual who commits an offense under Section 49.02, Penal Code, a peace officer may release an individual if:
                  (1) the officer believes detention in a penal facility is unnecessary for the protection of the individual or others; and
                  (2) the individual:
                  (A) is released to the care of an adult who agrees to assume responsibility for the individual; or
                  (B) verbally consents to voluntary treatment for chemical dependency in a program in a treatment facility licensed and approved by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, and the program admits the individual for treatment.
                  (b) A magistrate may release from custody an individual arrested under Section 49.02, Penal Code, if the magistrate determines the individual meets the conditions required for release in lieu of arrest under Subsection (a) of this article.
                  (c) The release of an individual under Subsection (a) or (b) of this article to an alcohol or drug treatment program may not be considered by a peace officer or magistrate in determining whether the individual should be released to such a program for a subsequent incident or arrest under Section 49.02, Penal Code.
                  (d) A peace officer and the agency or political subdivision that employs the peace officer may not be held liable for damage to persons or property that results from the actions of an individual released under Subsection (a) or (b) of this article.
                  Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.04, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.
                  "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Sons of God - Matthew 5:9

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If all we're talking about os citing for PI, then I disagree. I don't think the guy should've have been cited and I don't agree with citing for PI in the first place. If the person is being released to a sober individual, then they are no longer a danger to themselves or others. If they are still a danger to themselves or others, then they should be arrested for PI regardless of if they have a friend to take them home.

                    With regards to the above post about releasing the individual, if you are releasing him, why cite him? The cite is an arrest, just not a custody arrest. Again, if you're releasing him to one of the parties listed above, how is the person a danger to themselves or others?

                    The pre-empting off of the other call is a completely different situation.
                    Last edited by usmcrob; 09-28-2009, 04:36 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Nothing wrong with it. Since he was in control of his car in a public place, you could have a DWI also. Been a weak case. But it is perfectly allowed to cite for a PI and release to a responsible individual. Alot of people get caught up in automatically arresting for PI, no matter what. IMO, the deputy did the right thing, and got a drunk off the streets.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by usmcrob View Post
                        If all we're talking about os citing for PI, then I disagree. I don't think the guy should've have been cited and I don't agree with citing for PI in the first place. If the person is being released to a sober individual, then they are no longer a danger to themselves or others. If they are still a danger to themselves or others, then they should be arrested for PI regardless of if they have a friend to take them home.

                        The pre-empting off of the other call is a completely different situation.

                        So your not going to cite them because they are no longer a danger?
                        Under that mind set, you would allow someone to come pickup a drunk driver and not cite him since he's not driving anymore.

                        There's 2 options. Arrest to get off the streets, or cite and release to someone to get off the streets.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TEX_DEPUTY View Post
                          L-1, He caught heat because he issued a citation for PI. The Sgt. felt it was unnecessary for a citation to be issued after the guy was picked up by a sober relative.
                          I agree.
                          Sworn on September 22, 2010

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by usmcrob View Post
                            If all we're talking about os citing for PI, then I disagree. I don't think the guy should've have been cited and I don't agree with citing for PI in the first place. If the person is being released to a sober individual, then they are no longer a danger to themselves or others. If they are still a danger to themselves or others, then they should be arrested for PI regardless of if they have a friend to take them home.
                            So, you stop someone for running a red light, they have no DL and no insurance. When you light them up, they pull into a shopping center parking lot. (No longer on a public street) As you are running the plate and marking out, they are busy too. You look up to see the violator stepping from the vehicle and shutting the door. You also notice him hanging up the cell phone. Out you jump from the squad to find out that he has locked his keys inside the vehicle and phoned for a private wrecker to get his car.

                            The violator is not longer driving, cannot drive (keys locked inside car), and not blocking a public street. The violation is over, no longer a danger to society, I assume you will not cite this individual. Yes, I know, he was in violation until you stopped him, but now he is not.

                            Just playing devil's advocate.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That was my point, not citing because he's not breaking the law any more just doesnt make any sense.

                              Comment

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