Iowa Supreme Court Says DOT Can't Suspend Some Drugged Drivers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court says transportation officials cannot suspend the licenses of drivers who have taken prescription drugs in compliance with a doctor's instructions.

The court threw out the 180-day driving suspension Friday for an Urbandale woman who drove into a mailbox after becoming distracted in 2011.

The woman had taken drugs prescribed by her doctor, who'd warned they may make her drowsy but did not preclude her from driving. Police didn't file charges, but the Iowa Department of Transportation moved to suspend her license.

DOT officials argued that she could not raise a "prescription drug-defense" in a suspension proceeding, and an administrative law judge agreed.

In a 7-0 ruling, the court says the DOT's interpretation of the law is absurd and drivers following doctors' orders can use the defense.
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