You Won’t Believe What is Against the Law in Iowa
There are some crazy laws in every state. But usually, like how you aren't allowed to sleep in a cheese factory in Dimmock, they are rarely if ever enforced. But a crazy law in Iowa is enforced.
Public intoxication is a minor crime that most people have heard of or at least heard of the term. It is not a crime in every state, but it is in a handful of states. Iowa is one of those states. Iowa Code 123.46 states: "A person shall not be intoxicated or simulate intoxication in a public place."
So you can't be drunk or pretend to be drunk, in a public place. No, you cannot pretend to be drunk in a public place or you are just as big of a criminal as someone who is drunk in a public place. PRETENDING!
Now, from what I can tell, "simulating intoxication" is essentially a legal synonym for being intoxicated by things that are not alcohol, though there is no clear definition for "simulate intoxication." In 2017, a woman who was caught huffing canned air while stumbling around looking drunk was charged with this offense. While Iowa is the only state that has outlawed simulated intoxication, other states haven't criminalized public intoxication at all.
For instance in South Dakota, public intoxication is not a crime spelled out in state law. But the law does allow for municipalities to draft their own ordinances to regulate being drunk in public. Sioux Falls does not have a specific public intoxication ordinance that I could find.
Minnesota is similar to South Dakota, but I did find that St. Cloud does have an ordinance against "disruptive intoxication." In order for you to be cited for it you must be guilty of conduct that is "loud, boisterous, yelling, urinating in public, lewd or combative conduct, or disobeying a police officer’s lawful command." While Iowa only requires you to be drunk and in public, most other states with a public intoxication law require that third element of actually being disruptive somehow.
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