This time of year, we always see some cases involving OWI charges where no driving was alleged.
In Iowa, the crime is clearly defined as “operating.” This just means that the suspect is behind the wheel, with the engine running. Even if there is no intention to drive, just activating the engine is illegal.
With the temperatures dropping, people find their way back to their cars to sleep it off, but soon find they are too cold. They start the car to activate the heater, and wake up to an officer knocking on the window or opening the door.
Plan ahead, and do not pass out in your car. Not only is this dangerous, but once that engine is activated, you are subject to arrest.