Man Arrested for Driving (Drunk) with Zebra, Macaw in Front Seat
Iowa resident Jerald Reiter, 55, was arrested on Sunday for drunk driving with a zebra in his truck. The baby animal, along with a macaw parrot, was reportedly sitting in the front seat with him when he was stopped by police.
He had apparently taken the animals to the Dog House Lounge, a local bar that he claims often allows animals inside. Unfortunately, food was being served that night, so the bar owner sent the zoo animals back to the car. With a very drunk Reiter in tow, of course.
Reiter and his girlfriend Vickey Teters consider the animals to be their kids, reports KCRG-TV. As she explains in this video, it's not uncommon to see them driving with the zebra in their truck:
Now, there's no question the zebra and macaw were in the front seat. However, Jerald Reiter disputes some of the other facts being reported. Police pulled him over in the bar parking lot and found his blood alcohol level to be almost twice the legal limit, explains KCRG-TV. Reiter, however, claims he wasn't actually moving.
Instead, he told the station that he realized he was drunk and was about to let a passenger in the truck take a wheel.
Unfortunately, this probably won't get him out of the charge. In a number of states, you don't actually have to be moving to be "pulled over" for a DWI. If you get behind the wheel, put the keys in the car and turn on the engine, you're technically operating a motor vehicle. This is often enough to convict you of driving while intoxicated. Consider it a parked car DUI.
So while John Reiter was free to park or drive with a zebra in his truck, he was not allowed to do either while intoxicated. He probably should have just taken the zebra for a walk instead.
- Police: Drunk driver had zebra, parrot (UPI)
- DUI Law (FindLaw)
- Zebra Bites Girl at Texas Safari Park (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
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