In 2013 Patience Paye called 911 to report a domestic violence incident that took place in her home. When police arrived, Payne stepped on her porch to talk to them, because she didn't want to disturb her kids, who were in the house. The police gave her a breath test, determined she was intoxicated and arrested her for being drunk in public.
At her trial, the judge ruled that a person's front porch is indeed a public place because it is "plainly accessible and visible to any passer-by." The Iowa Supreme Court disagreed:
If the front stairs of a family home were always considered a public place, it would create "absurd results" and make it a "crime to sit there calmly on a breezy summer day and sip a mojito" or even grill with "bourbon-infused barbecue sauce," the court concluded.
The case was sent back to District Court for dismissal.
Image: "Set a spell, until the cops come to bust you." Shutterstock