Iowa Public Intoxication Laws
Iowa Code section 123.46 prohibits an individual from being intoxicated, or simulating intoxication in a public place. There are two elements of Public Intoxication that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt at trial: 1) the person was, or simulated, intoxication; 2) the person was in a public place.
In Iowa, an individual is “intoxicated” when by drinking liquor and/or beer, one or more of the following is true:
- His reason or mental ability has been affected;
- His judgment is impaired;
- His emotions are visibly excited;
- He has, to any extent, lost control of bodily actions or motions.
A “public place” is defined as “any place, building, or conveyance to which the public has or is permitted access.” Generally speaking any place open to the general public constitutes a “public place.”
Included as “public places” are:
- Public streets, alleyways, and parking lots
- Steps and common hallways of apartment buildings
- Bars and restaurants
- Stadiums, event centers etc.
Not included as “public places” are:
- Private vehicles (not public transportation)
- Decks or porches to residence
- Inside a person’s apartment
- On private land
If you have been arrested for public intoxication, please call the criminal defense lawyers at Gourley, Rehkemper & Lindholm right away for a free initial consultation. Know your rights; exercise your right to a lawyer.
Expungement of Prior Public Intoxication Offenses
Public Intoxication convictions are one of two criminal offenses in the State of Iowa that can be expunged from an individual’s criminal record. In order to have the conviction expunged, the individual must go at least two years after the conviction without being convicted of anything other than simple traffic offenses. The individual must then petition the court to expunge the conviction and if the individual qualifies the judge is required by law to issue the order granting the expungement.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES for public intoxication
Simple Misdemeanor. A maximum jail sentence of up to 30 days; fine of up to $625, but not less than $65 plus 32% surcharge and court costs.
Serious Misdemeanor. A maximum jail sentence of up to one year in jail; fine of up to $1,875, but not less than $315 plus 32% surcharge and court costs.
Third or Subsequent Offense:
Aggravated Misdemeanor. A maximum of up to two years imprisonment or one year in jail; fine of up to $6,250, but not less than $625 plus 32% surcharge and court costs.
Public Intoxication and Your Rights
The 5th Amendment
At no time can you be required to be a witness against yourself. You do not have to answer questions from police officers that could incriminate you. You do not have to answer if asked if you have had anything to drink. Your refusal to answer cannot be used against you.
Right To An Attorney
You have a statutory right to call, consult, and see an attorney or family member once a police officer has restrained your liberty. You are permitted a reasonable number of phone calls to secure an attorney. You also have the right to see and consult with an attorney in private at the jail.
Preliminary Breath Test
You do not have to take this test. Despite this being an unreliable instrument, the results can be used against you in court for public intoxication. There are no legal adverse effects to refusing this test.
Once you have been arrested for Public Intoxication the officer has a duty to inform you that you may request an independent chemical test to be administered at your own expense.
Note: An officer may not order you into public and then arrest you for public intoxication. The law requires that you voluntarily put yourself in a public place; a police officer’s order to exit a private place does not warrant a charge of public intoxication.
Iowa OWI Defenders
contact us at 1-888-278-1027
Gourley, Rehkemper & Lindholm
IOWA DRUNK DRIVING DEFENSE LAWYERS
440 Fairway Drive,
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
Phone: (515) 226-0500
Toll free: 1-888-278-1027
Get Directions :: View Map
You can also get directions and see an enlarged map of the area surrounding the attorneys' offices at 440 Fairway Drive by clicking on the links above or the words in this paragraph.
GRL's DUI Attorneys, Robert Rehkemper and Matthew Lindholm, represent people against drunk driving offenses. From their offices in the Des Moines and West Des Moines, Iowa area, they represnet people throughout the state of Iowa.
free initial consultation
If you or someone you care about has been arrested for drunk driving or an intoxication related offense, remember that an arrest is not a conviction; there are many, many reasons why an OWI charge may be wrong. You need to know your rights in an OWI charge. For example, if you believe that you were solber, that very well may be the case; field sobriety tests are inaccurate and breathalyzers can malfunction.
Send your OWI Arrest Information To An Attorney
A Case Submission Form helps you to organize the information and provide it to the attorneys before your consultation or for an e-mail response. You can send details about your OWI arrest to the attorneys with the CASE SUBMISSION FORM. That form is also very handy for after-hours communications, to give the attorneys a head's-up that you will be calling, or to leave a message for one of them to call you back. While arrest and charge information is public, be sure to exclude any confidential information.
prepare for consultation
The OWI DUI Questionnaire Form on this website is the same one provided in the attorneys' offices.
The attorneys at Gourley, Rehkemper & Lindholm are extremely detail-orientated; they want information from you pertaining to every aspect of your case including your and police actions prior to the police stop, preliminary to your arrest, during arrest and after arrest.
An OWI DUI Questionnaire Form is ready for you to print and complete to prepare for your consultation with an attorney. It is a PDF (portable document file) file, which requires a free PDF reader to open the file. You can get the free reader here.
Driver's Rights Card™
Iowa's Driver's Rights Card was created by the attorneys at Gourley, Rehkemper & Lindholm PLC of Des Moines, Iowa to inform people of their rights when stopped or investigated by police, and to carry with them for just such occassions. Get Your FREE Driver's Rights Card today.
The Driver's Rights Card™ works in any OWI situation; you can use it if you are detained on suspicion of driving while under the influence, boating while under the influence, underage driving while under the influence, public intoxication, driving while under the influence of prescription drugs, minor in possession of alcohol, and in accidents while intoxicated or vehicle homicides.
frequently appear in the courts in Des Moines, Iowa
and West Des Moines, Iowa
(Polk County), Waterloo and Cedar Falls, Iowa (Black Hawk County), Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Linn County), Iowa city, Iowa (Johnson & Washington County), Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa (Pottawattamie County), Davenport, Moline, Rock Island, Iowa (Scott County), and Sioux City, Iowa (Woodbury County), as well as Dubuque, Monroe, De Soto, Nevada, Story City, Pleasant Hill, Capitol Heights, Marquisville, Urbandale, Clive and Windsor Heights, Iowa, and all other areas in Iowa.