Clients claim of eating soap leads to OWI charge being amended

Floyd County – Client was stopped for speeding, submitted to field sobriety testing, and was transported to the Mitchell County jail for a chemical breath test.  While at the jail, Client requested to use the restroom.  The officer waited outside the restroom in an area where he could not see Client.  After using the restroom, Client came out and submitted to the breath test.  After the breath test results were printed he was transported to the Floyd County Jail.  Upon arrival at the jail, Client advised the officer that while he was in the restroom, prior to the breath test, he had put soap in his mouth.  Iowa law requires an officer to observe an individual for 15 minutes prior to administering a breath test to ensure that they do not eat, drink, or place anything in their mouth.  In this case, only 14 minutes had passed from the time Client exited the restroom until he provided his breath sample.  Attorney Scott Michels, filed a motion to suppress the breath test result because of the officer’s failure to observe the 15-minute observation period.  After a hearing on the motion, the Court agreed that the officer did not comply with the law and declared client’s breath test result inadmissible at trial.  Eventually, the County Attorney agreed to amend the charge from OWI to reckless driving and public intoxication.  Client’s driver’s license was reinstated.