Why wasn't Idaho deputy arrested?




Posted on August 13, 2009 at 9:27 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 29 at 9:11 AM

Four types of arrest situations

BOISE -- Boise city attorneys are now looking over the potential charges for an Ada County Sheriff's deputy.

Police say Spencer Powers drove through two Meridian neighborhoods -- causing damage to mailboxes, trees, even a car.

Powers was not arrested Saturday night, but instead taken to a local hospital.

That move by Meridian Police has some of our Channel 7 viewers questioning fairness.

We spoke with a couple different police agencies who say it's up to the officer's discretion on how a misdemeanor is handled.

There are basically four ways they approach arrests.

There is the book and hold. Go to jail and either bond out or serve your time.

The second is summons and release. The officer writes a ticket and the defendant is to report to court.

And the third is book and release. Your mug and fingerprints are taken and then you are free to go, pending a court date.

The fourth is the situation -- Spencer Powers is in.

Many people who are in accidents are taken to the hospital first.

Caldwell Police Chief Chris Allgood says many jails won't accept those who have been in an accident until they are examined, and at the hospital blood work can be taken.

"If I were to have taken pills, if I were to have had drinks, if I were to have caused an accident; what would have happened to me, being a member of the public?" asked NewsChannel 7.

"Same thing. If you were not able to do a field sobriety test and there's the potential for injury due to a traffic collision, go to the hospital and we would have done a blood draw, we do it frequently," said Allgood. "In the vast majority of DUIs they're pretty cut and dry. However, there are - especially with prescription medication and things, there are variables that cause that not to happen, very certainly."

The city attorney is looking over the case now.

Powers is on paid administrative leave while he awaits possible charges and an internal investigation.

If enough evidence is found, he could face charges of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident.

All misdemeanor charges are subject to officer discretion.

However, felonies are not. In those cases -- the person is immediately booked into the jail.