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Watch House bail vs Magistrate Court Bail

By sunshine - 16 January 2010 11

Just for my own curiosity sakes – what is the criteria here in the ACT for police bailing someone from the Watch house as opposed to sending them to court to appear in front of the Magistrate?  

I know it’s often done with people who were drunk the night before and had sobered up etc.. but was just wondering if the police can do it for other reasons as well and what are they?

I suppose that if the police were not going to oppose bail at court and weren’t concerned about the person reoffending then they could bail them – have i just answered my own question?

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
Watch House bail vs Magistrate Court Bail
FUBAR 10:34 am 25 Jan 10

as i have done a few overnighters myself the only time i have been released from the watch house was for pissed in public after 8hours or after 8hours in the cell and no charge has been placed.

P Large 12:24 pm 18 Jan 10

It also depends on the charge. There is a policy of not providing watch house bail to people charged with a Family Violence offence.

Pommy bastard 8:00 am 18 Jan 10

bd84 said :

Most drunks these days are just taken into custody for their own safety and released when sober with no charge. It’s time that fines were reintroduced for anyone taken into custody for this reason, $200 odd fine will be a better incentive to stay sober enough, just releasing them with no charge just gives an indication that it is okay.

Agreed, some payment towards the waste of police time and manpower should be imposed.

Tooks 8:50 pm 17 Jan 10

Actually the sobering up shelter is for *any* drunk, so long as they’re not aggressive. I imagine the chronic drunks do get the most use out of it though.

Wilco 7:30 pm 17 Jan 10

Although not quite on point, S4 of the Intoxicated Persons (Care and Protection)Act 1994 states:

4 Detention of intoxicated people
(1) If a police officer believes, on reasonable grounds, that a person in a
public place is intoxicated and is, because of that intoxication—
(a) behaving in a disorderly way; or
(b) behaving in a way likely to cause injury to himself, herself or
another person, or damage to any property; or
(c) incapable of protecting himself or herself from physical harm;
the officer may take the person into custody and detain the person.
(2) The police officer may take the person into custody only if the
officer is satisfied that there is no other reasonable alternative for
the person’s care and protection.
(3) A person detained under subsection (1) must be released—
(a) when the person ceases to be intoxicated; or
(b) at the end of 8 hours after the person is detained;
whichever is earlier.
(4) A police officer must not allow a person detained under
subsection (1) to remain at a police station where the person was
detained for longer than 12 hours after the person is first detained.
(5) This section does not prevent a police officer from releasing a
person detained under subsection (1) if, in the police officer’s
opinion, it is reasonable to release the person.
(6) For subsection (5), a police officer is taken to have acted reasonably
if the officer releases a person detained under subsection (1) into the
care of the manager of a licensed place.

bd84 3:08 pm 17 Jan 10

sunshine said :

there’s also the sobering up facility they can go to at Ainslie Village

I don’t think it is used for the normal Saturday night drunk, more people with a history of alcohol and drug abuse.

Most drunks these days are just taken into custody for their own safety and released when sober with no charge. It’s time that fines were reintroduced for anyone taken into custody for this reason, $200 odd fine will be a better incentive to stay sober enough, just releasing them with no charge just gives an indication that it is okay.

Tooks 9:24 am 17 Jan 10

georgesgenitals said :

Tooks said :

You’ve pretty much answered your own question, but there’s a bit more to it. Check out http://www.legislation.act.gov.au and search for the Bail Act 1992 for more info.

BTW bail doesn’t apply to people locked up for being drunk, unless they are charged with an offence.

How do the police choose which drunks to lock up? Is it just the ones who appear to be a danger to themself or others? I’m guessing people wander home drunk at 3am without hurting anyone don’t generally get hassled.

Basically, anyone who is so drunk they’re likely to cause harm to themselves, someone else, or damage property.

sunshine 11:48 pm 16 Jan 10

there’s also the sobering up facility they can go to at Ainslie Village

georgesgenitals 2:45 pm 16 Jan 10

Tooks said :

You’ve pretty much answered your own question, but there’s a bit more to it. Check out http://www.legislation.act.gov.au and search for the Bail Act 1992 for more info.

BTW bail doesn’t apply to people locked up for being drunk, unless they are charged with an offence.

How do the police choose which drunks to lock up? Is it just the ones who appear to be a danger to themself or others? I’m guessing people wander home drunk at 3am without hurting anyone don’t generally get hassled.

sunshine 11:52 am 16 Jan 10

Tooks said :

You’ve pretty much answered your own question, but there’s a bit more to it. Check out http://www.legislation.act.gov.au and search for the Bail Act 1992 for more info.

BTW bail doesn’t apply to people locked up for being drunk, unless they are charged with an offence.

thanks for the link

Tooks 9:56 am 16 Jan 10

You’ve pretty much answered your own question, but there’s a bit more to it. Check out http://www.legislation.act.gov.au and search for the Bail Act 1992 for more info.

BTW bail doesn’t apply to people locked up for being drunk, unless they are charged with an offence.

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