Court Reaffirms Right to Get Drunk on Your Porch
If you live in Iowa, anyway
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 12, 2015 4:45 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The perfect court decision heading into the weekend: Iowa's Supreme Court endorsed the right to be drunk on the front porch of a private home, ruling that a woman can't be convicted of public intoxication while standing on her front steps. Patience Paye, 29, of Waterloo based the appeal of her 2013 case on the contention that her front steps are not a public place so she can't be charged with public intoxication. Justices agreed, rejecting a district court judge's conclusion that Paye's front porch was a public place because it was plainly accessible and visible to any passers-by and it was a place to which the public is permitted access.

"If the front stairs of a single-family residence are always a public place, it would be a crime to sit there calmly on a breezy summer day and sip a mojito, celebrate a professional achievement with a mixed drink of choice, or even baste meat on the grill with a bourbon-infused barbeque sauce—unless one first obtained a liquor license," Justice Daryl Hecht wrote in the court's unanimous opinion. "We do not think the legislature intended Iowa law to be so heavy-handed."