Iowa Man Arrested for Pulling Car Door Handles, Public Intoxication
Don't pull on the wrong door handle next time you are in Iowa. You could go to jail.
An Iowa man was arrested on Thursday in Sheldon after he was seen pulling on car door handles, according to NWestIowa.com.
Sheldon Police say 60-year-old Marlyn Anderson was pulling on the door handles of numerous vehicles on 8th Street when he was approached by police. He allegedly smelled of alcohol and had issues with his balance too. He also admitted to the police that he intended to take a vehicle if he was able to get into it.
Anderson was charged with public intoxication and tampering with a vehicle.
Tampering with a vehicle is another quirky law in the land of corn and fields. Iowa Code 321.78 says:
Injuring or tampering with vehicle.
Any person who either individually or in association with one or more other persons willfully injures or tampers with any vehicle or breaks or removes any part or parts of or from a vehicle without the consent of the owner is guilty of a simple misdemeanor.
So I guess pulling on the door handle of a car is tampering and can get you popped for a simple misdemeanor? Granted if the man hadn't been acting intoxicated and told police he was planning to steal one, he perhaps would not have been charged with tampering alone. But the vague way in which the law is worded, it leaves it open to you getting pinched for it.
South Dakota also has a law against tampering with a vehicle, but it goes further and says the perpetrator must have "intent to injure the same or cause inconvenience" to the owner for it to be a crime. That seems a little more reasonable. But Iowa law isn't the most reasonable.
In Iowa, you can get arrested and charged for simply pretending to be drunk. Being drunk in public is also a crime in Iowa. Neither of those offenses are crimes in South Dakota. You can be charged with disorderly conduct, but merely stumbling home drunk from the bar is permissible in the Mount Rushmore State.