If you don’t have the right to be hammered on your own front porch, do you even have any rights at all?
The Iowa Supreme Court has overturned 29-year-old Patience Paye’s public intoxication conviction stemming from a 2013 arrest. Paye, a Waterloo, Iowa resident, was arrested after calling police during a fight with her boyfriend. Police arrived and questioned Paye on the steps of her home, eventually convincing her to take a breathalyzer test. Paye’s BAC was more than three times the legal limit, and Paye was subsequently arrested and charged with public intoxication and domestic assault (a charge that was later dropped).
Paye’s appeal turned on whether a person’s front porch is a public place.
Per ABC News:
“If the front stairs of a single-family residence are always a public place, it would be a crime to sit there calmly on a breezy summer day and sip a mojito, celebrate a professional achievement with a mixed drink of choice, or even baste meat on the grill with a bourbon-infused barbeque sauce — unless one first obtained a liquor license. We do not think the legislature intended Iowa law to be so heavy-handed,” Justice Daryl Hecht wrote in the court’s unanimous opinion.
Well said, Justice Hecht. This is a monumental ruling for personal liberty advocates as well as those just trying to live the #MargLife on their front porch every now and then. I’ve never been to Iowa, and I have no current plans to visit, but I’ll sleep better knowing that the noted Iowan, Adam DeVine has the right to enjoy a few cold ones on his front porch should he ever return home..
[via ABC News]
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