Iowa’s County Attorneys think this could be the year the state legislature finally lowers the legal alcohol limit that defines when someone is driving drunk. Fred McCaw, president of the Iowa County Attorneys Association, says they’ll push again in January to have the legal blood alcohol limit dropped from .10 to .08. He says states that have lowered the limit have seen a drop in alcohol-related traffic deaths. The issue has died in the legislature the last several years. McCaw, who is the county Attorney in Dubuque County, says the chances of passing the change are better this year because Iowa will lose federal road money without the change. He says the county attorneys will also ask the legislature to adopt a rule that would allow attorneys to admit prior acts of sexual abuse as evidence in cases against sex offenders. He says historically, prior bad behavior has not been introduced in order to not prejudice a case. But he says they’ve shown that in cases of sex offenses, offenders often have a past history, and it’s very relevant. McCaw says another issue on their legislative agenda is getting more money for people who’re let out of prison. He says people can’t be released without adequate rehabilitation programs to help get them jobs and keep them off drugs. He says they’ll also seek to expand the law dealing with identity theft. The current law deals mainly with the illegal acquisition of personal information used to steal someone’s identity. The county attorneys want to expand the law to make it illegal not only to obtain the information, but to use it. McCaw says some information can now be obtained legally, and they want it to be illegal to use that information to steal someone’s identity. The association represents the county attorneys in all of Iowa’s 99 counties.
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