Drunk Driver Takes Zebra and Parrot for Joyride

By Will Godfrey 05/23/12

This was no routine DUI arrest for Iowa's finest.

Reiter has numerous exotic animals on his
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Cops may momentarily have questioned their own sobriety when they found 55-year-old Jerald Reiter outside the Doghouse Lounge in Iowa on Sunday night, trying to drive off with a zebra and a macaw in the front of his pick up. But Reiter keeps Pee Wee and Izzy, as they're known to their friends, as household pets, and likes to take them wherever he goes. After downing three mixed drinks with his dinner, “I said, ‘Let’s go for a ride. I ain’t been away from the farm for almost two months because I’ve been planting corn and everything else,’” Reiter tells the Des Moines Register. “So I opened the door, the zebra jumps in, the macaw loves to go for a ride, so we went for a ride.” Their destination was a bar where Reiter believed that animals were allowed, because he thought he'd previously seen dogs in there. But surprisingly, Reiter and his mini menagerie were turned away—despite its name, the Doghouse denies being open to animals. Police were called due to concerns for the creatures' welfare, and Reiter was breathalyzed and found to be at nearly double the legal limit. Still, he's keen to stress that he hasn't been found to have mistreated his beloved pets in any way. He adds, “We almost got Izzy riding on the back of Pee Wee so we can, you know, take them to the parades.”

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Will Godfrey is the former editor-in-chief of TheFix. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of Substance.com, and previously co-founded a magazine for prisoners in London. His work has appeared in Salon, Pacific Standard, AlterNet and The Nation among others. He is currently the Executive Director at FILTER. You can find Will on Linkedin and Twitter.