Iowa Supreme Court Invalidates Iowa’s Boating While Intoxicated Law

As one of the busiest boating weekends of the year approaches, the Iowa Supreme Court has invalidated Iowa’s Boating While Intoxicated law as it pertains to the procedures used to obtain blood, breath, and urine results. The Iowa Supreme Court concluded that the existing boating while intoxicated provisions improperly coerce a person’s consent to testing.
Chief Justice Cady, in his special concurrence, explained: “In a court system, judges are required to call a strike a strike and a ball a ball. The implied-consent law for boating was written to coerce consent to chemical testing. There is no way around calling this strike a strike.”
Mr. Pettijohn’s attorney, Grant Gangestad, from the West Des Moines law firm, Gourley, Rehkemper & Lindholm, released the following statement:
"Today’s decision is a win for Iowans who value their constitutional rights. The decision builds upon Iowa’s longstanding respect for personal liberties including the right to be free from unreasonable government intrusion into our personal privacy. Iowa has taken a stand to protect citizen’s privacy rights when our federal courts have unfortunately eroded those protections under the United States Constitution. The Iowa Supreme Court has called it like they saw it and Iowan’s should be proud."

The full opinion can be found here.

Stay tuned for a more thorough analysis of what the Iowa Supreme Court decision means for pending cases and for other cases in the future.