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Drunk Driving Archives

New OWI/DUI laws now in effect in Iowa

As of July 1, new laws have taken effect in Iowa that impact people convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). The legislature has lifted some restrictions, tightened others, and anyone who is contending with charges from the Fourth of July holiday will find them especially relevant. Here's what you need to know. 

Drunk driving, hit-and-run charges against celebrity rapper

Many people in Iowa may enjoy the music and rap stylings of popular artist Mac Miller, who is now dealing with the legal system after an arrest on drunk driving charges on May 17. Miller, a 26-year-old performer, was arrested in the early morning hours from his California home. Earlier in the night, he allegedly hit an electrical utility pole in the San Fernando Valley. While he reportedly drove away from the scene, the license plates on his Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon were traced to his home address.

DUI diversion program could avoid criminal record for TV host

Iowa television viewers may be most familiar with TV talk show host Steve Wilkos' on-camera demeanor and approach to criminal justice issues. His tough-guy style that dates from his days as head of security for the Jerry Springer program has won him fans and foes of his television style. However, Wilkos is taking a more moderate approach to criminal justice in his own life, receiving admission to a DUI diversion program that can lead to drunk driving charges being erased from his criminal record.

Man faces child endangerment charge in DUI case

On Jan. 19, police in Iowa spotted a vehicle being driven at 60 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone. This took place at about 7:37 p.m near the 1400 block of West Broadway. When police made contact with the man, it was noted that he was slurring his speech and had bloodshot eyes. Furthermore, the vehicle smelled like alcohol. A Breathalyzer test revealed that the man had a blood alcohol content of .207 percent.

Car accidents rise on annual cannabis holiday

Drivers in Iowa may be concerned about the dangers posed on the roadways by drunk and distracted drivers. While the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol are well-known, there are also dangers to using other kinds of drugs before getting behind the wheel. One study indicates that April 20, a self-declared holiday for marijuana users, is linked with a slight jump in fatal car crashes across the United States.

Reasonable suspicion and probable cause in DUI stops

When an officer pulls over a driver, he or she must have reasonable suspicion that the driver is committing a crime. If the officer violates this standard, the traffic stop may not hold up in court, even if the stop resulted in criminal charges, like a DUI. Similarly, in order to justify arresting a driver, an officer must assess enough evidence to reasonably claim the driver committed a crime.

Report encourages changes to drunk driving laws

A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine suggested lowering the legal blood alcohol content in the United States. If its recommendation was adopted, Iowa residents would need to keep their BAC under .05 percent if they wish to operate a motor vehicle. For women this would limit their intake to two drinks prior to driving while men would be limited to two or three drinks.

Jackass actor charged with drunk driving

Iowa residents may have loved the crazy stunts and hijinks of Bam Margera on the MTV show "Jackass" in the early 2000s, but police didn't think much of his driving when they arrested the performer on suspicion of drunk driving in early January. In 2011, his longtime friend and fellow member of the cast Ryan Dunn was killed in a drunk driving accident.

You may sometimes challenge breathalyzer results

Fighting a DUI involving breathalyzer results is never easy, but it is not impossible. Just like any measurement device, a breathalyzer has weaknesses and a general margin of error, so it is usually possible to build some sort of legal defense against such charges.

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