According to the Supreme Court of Iowa, drunk porch parties are perfectly alright, since a front porch can’t be considered a public place. But this ruling only came after a woman named Patience Paye was arrested for public intoxication when she was on her own property.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, bottles of 170-year-old beer and champagne were preserved underwater in a sunken ship discovered off the coast of Finland, and scientists were able to recreate the flavors of the old beer to see what they tasted like. Going even further back in time, an ancient Egyptian brewery found in Tel Aviv, Israel gave us a hint at what Egypt’s beer would have been like way, way, way back in the day.
According to WOWT, the incident started in 2013 when Patience Paye and her boyfriend began fighting while at home. When police spoke to the couple, the boyfriend claimed he had kept Paye’s car keys from her since she was drunk, and a breath test revealed that Paye had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.267 percent. She was charged with public intoxication and domestic assault, although the latter charge was dropped later by police.
The reason that Iowa’s drunk porch case is so important is because it has relevance to personal property rights.
“There was a concern how this could be extended if the court had found that front steps or front porches were public,” said Paye’s attorney, public defender Rachel Regenold.
A district court judge had ruled that a front porch could be considered a public place since it was accessible and plainly visible to anyone who passed. As such, the judge claimed it was space where the public was permitted access despite being a front porch on personal property.
Iowa’s Supreme Court overturned the previous judge’s ruling, Iowa Attorney General spokesman Geoff Greenwood said prosecutors “respect the court’s ruling which has a narrow scope in that it addresses intoxication while a person is on the front porch of a single family home.”
“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. We do not think the legislature intended Iowa law to be so heavy-handed,” Justice Daryl Hecht wrote in the court’s unanimous opinion according to the Associated Press.
The Supreme Court also noted that Iowa is one of the few states to criminalize public drunkenness. In addition, some states like Montana, North Carolina, and North Dakota have laws preventing prosecution for charges solely based upon public intoxication.
[Image via Men’s Health]