mulberry tassel bag Lawmaker who spoke against impaired driving arrested for OWI
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Ames police Sgt. Mike Arkovich said Baltimore was cited for failure to maintain lanes after the traffic stop. He faces charges of first offense operating while intoxicated and carrying a firearm while under the influence.
KCCI was the only TV news crew in the courtroom as Baltimore appeared before a judge and spoke exclusively with the fourth term Republican from Boone after his initial appearance.
When asked if he should still be the chair of the judiciary committee, Baltimore responded, “It’s not my determination to make.”
“The fact of the matter is I was picked up and charged,” Baltimore said. “Obviously it’s not my proudest moment, so we’ll move forward from there.”
Arkovich said a pistol was found under the driver’s seat and that Baltimore has a permit to carry, but it became void because of the high blood alcohol level.
“The way you’re thinking is going to be off even after a couple of drinks,” Arkovich said. “Even if you’re going to be 0.08, your mind is still not quite all there and processing things right, so you’re still a danger to yourself, people in the car and the public.”
Baltimore talked to The Des Moines Register about a bill to address repeat DUI offenders and his call for a sobriety monitoring program.
“Impaired driving is an issue that needs attention in Iowa,” he told the Register. “We’ve been trying to address this in the past few years without success. We’re hopeful that we’ll get something to the governor to sign this session.”
Baltimore represents House District 47, which covers much of Boone and Greene counties.
In addition to being chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Baltimore also serves on the House Agriculture Committee and the State Government and Ways and Means Committees.
Fellow Republican House Speaker Linda Upmeyer released a statement in response to Baltimore’s arrest:
“Drunk driving is unacceptable behavior for anyone, let alone a state legislator. We will work through this issue and take appropriate action quickly.
“We will also work with Rep. Baltimore to get him the help and support that he needs at this time.”
Boone residents said they are shocked and disappointed with Baltimore’s actions, but they are standing by their representative.
Baltimore, who is heavily involved in the Boone community, is the president of the Boone County endowment fund and participates in several charitable organizations, according to the Iowa House Republicans’ website.
“Sorry to hear about Chip,” said Boone resident Jim Henkel. “He’s been a good representative. I’ve known him personally as an attorney. It was a bad decision,