Iowa Supreme Court: Drunk Women Ought to Be Drunk on Her Own Front Steps

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled on Friday that an Iowa woman should not have been charged with public intoxication for standing drunk on her own front steps after calling authorities for help following a domestic altercation.
Patience Paye was arrested in June 2013 after stepping out of her house to talk with a police officer, while her alleged attacker told another officer they frequently fought and he had refused to give her car keys because she was drunk and did not have a driver's license.
Paye twice failed breathalyzer tests, recording a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit for driving, and was arrested for public intoxication, a misdemeanor.
Paye argued that her front steps were not a public space under Iowa law, but was convicted in a bench trial and raised the same issue on appeal. The state said any modicum of public access would make a place public under Iowa law.
By that standard, an intoxicated person could be arrested and convicted for walking up the stairs of their own house after securing a ride home from a sober designated driver, he said.