Gold Medal for GRL’s 24/7 Emergency Hotline at Okoboji Winter Games

Lake Okoboji, Dickenson County, Iowa.  Winter Games strikes again.  Winter Games brings visitors to Lake Okoboji and the town of Spirit Lake from all over the Midwest.  It also brings eager Department of Natural Resources officers out from their winter hibernation, keen on enforcing little known rules and regulations related to use of ATV, UTV and Snowmobiles on Public Ice.  Claiming that sundown occurred at 5:30 p.m., a conservation officer stopped GRL’s client for not having his UTV headlights on after sundown.  The officer claimed that he stopped GRL Law’s client precisely at 5:30 p.m.  As it turns out there are conflicting code sections in the Iowa Code regarding use of headlights on a UTV.  One says at sunset, the other uses the phrase “during the hours  of darkness” which is 30 minutes after sunset.  Client was arrested and charged with OWI as a result (yes you can be charged with OWI for operating a utility vehicle on the ice).  Regardless, as it turned out, GRL’s client, who got in touch with GRL’s 24 hour emergency hotline, requested to take the breath test a second time and the conservation officer denied his request.  The case was resolved with an exclusion of the breath test result and an amendment of the charge to a simple misdemeanor.  OWI avoided and driving privileges spared.