The holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving and continuing through the rest of the year, is among the busiest times for drunk driving. So many celebrations offer alcohol, and many people end up over the limit without even realizing it. For that reason, many law enforcement agencies engage in what's called "high visibility enforcement," or HVE, at this time of year.
Suppose you've been drinking and had been planning to drive. Realizing you're too intoxicated to do so safely, you decide to avoid driving and sleep it off in your car. To keep warm, you start the engine, but you don't have any plans to drive. While you're asleep, the police notice you. Can they arrest you for OWI just for being in the car while intoxicated?
In Iowa, drunk driving is considered "operating while intoxicated," or OWI. It is defined as operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a drug, or a combination of substances. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 is considered "per se" OWI, as is having "any amount" of a controlled substance in one's system.
In Iowa, all drivers are subject to the implied consent law, which states that drivers agree to taking a blood, breath or urine test if pulled over by a police officer who has reasonable suspicion of intoxication.
The Iowa State Fair has started, and will run through August 20. While fairgoers can look forward to Grandstand entertainment, rides, fair food and the Butter Cow, others could find themselves with a wristband they didn't ask for: handcuffs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.