Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The way it's done in Iowa

Check out how business is done in Iowa.

City cop follows driver at unsafe distance with bright lights on.
Driver speeds up a little.
Cop stops driver, issues tickets, cites driver for OWI (Operating While Intoxicated).
Driver refuses breathalyzer, because he's not drunk.
DMV revokes driver's license for refusal to take breathalyzer.
Driver can't afford attorney and gets court-appointed attorney. Attorney doesn't show up in court and forges driver's signature. Driver gets second court-appointed attorney.
Attorney #2 tells him to plead guilty. Driver gets third court-appointed attorney.
Attorney #3 tells him to plead guilty.
Driver is able to borrow $5,000 and gets private attorney.
Jury trial is conducted. Driver is found NOT Guilty on all charges.

I have written about this, but here's what's new.

The driver cannot get his driver's license back until October 2011, says the DMV, because the alleged DUI was his second and he refused the breathalyzer. It's an administrative action by the DMV, not a legal action in court. So says the DMV.

And the Not Guilty verdict? "Doesn't matter," says the DMV.

Well, the DMV is dead wrong. When you are not guilty, you are Not guilty. The cop's charge didn't stand, and all go back to Square 1. Like, when the driver had his license.

In this case I am helping the driver, who will get his license back. The revocation needs to be lifted, and without payment of any fees or costs, since he was found Not Guilty. And, as I always tell those I help, I am not a lawyer. Anything I say or tell you to do is not legal advice. I'm just your advocate.

How long will it take the Iowa DMV to get this picture right and return this driver's license?

It turns out that this practice by local police in Bettendorf, Iowa, may not be uncommon. So, be warned if you are driving at night in Bettendorf. Do not get "pushed" to speed up by a car behind you with its bright lights on.

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