The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up a case that could have an important impact on Iowa law. At issue is whether police need a warrant before drawing the blood of an unconscious suspect in order to determine his level of intoxication.
Iowa Code §726.6 provides nine specific definitions of child endangerment. Overall, however, child endangerment could be described as: 1) knowingly exposing a minor to substantial risk of physical, mental or emotional harm; 2) intentionally causing such harm; 3) depriving a child of the basic necessities of life; 4) abandonment; or 5) failing to provide adequate supervision in specified circumstances.
Recently, the Des Moines police became the first Iowa police department to install an in-house machine that can analyze shell casings and access a federal ballistic imaging network to identify potential matches with firearms. Now, that system has been used to match a particular handgun to shell casings found at a robbery scene. As a result, an 18-year-old Ankeny man is facing criminal charges.
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 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed in Reed v. Town of Gilbert that content-based regulations on free speech are unconstitutional. This has been widely applied to panhandling ordinances. Indeed, according to the ACLU of Iowa, every case since brought against a panhandling ordinance -- over 25 cases -- have resulted in a ruling that the ordinance was unconstitutional.
Most people know that prostitution is basically defined as exchanging sex for money, and that it's illegal. Many also know that solicitation of prostitution is defined as asking or encouraging another person to engage in prostitution. The most common form of solicitation of prostitution is offering money in exchange for sexual acts. Promoting prostitution -- also known as pimping -- is also illegal in Iowa. What are the penalties involved?
With marijuana now legal for either recreational or medical use in the majority of states, drugged driving appears to be on the rise. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward way to test whether someone is actually impaired by marijuana. It's easy enough to test for the drug's metabolites, but those remain in the system for weeks, while the drug's "high" only lasts for a couple of hours. Law enforcement has been seeking a so-called 'pot breathalyzer" that could test for actual impairment, not just exposure to the drug.