DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court says law enforcement agencies cannot seek restitution from defendants in drunken driving cases when officers respond during the normal course of their work and not for an emergency.
The court found in opinions filed Friday in three separate drunken driving cases involving Davenport police officers that Iowa law allows recovery of expenses through restitution only when the law enforcement response meets the normal definition of an emergency. The court says “routine law enforcement activities do not qualify.”
In the three cases, patrolling police officers stopped vehicles with drivers suspected of drunken driving and the city sought to recoup the time it took officers to stop the vehicle, investigate and arrest the driver. The amounts sought - $54.50, $317 and $158.60 - were denied.
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