Iowan fights license suspension, says he drove 103 mph to buy feminine hygiene products

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An Iowa man is appealing the suspension of his driver’s license, arguing that he was driving 103 mph in order to purchase feminine hygiene products for his wife.

Court records indicate that on Sept. 14, 2020, Saleh Ali Nasr of Coralville was stopped by police for allegedly speeding on Highway 27 in Lee County. Court records indicate that before Nasr was pulled over, he was driving 103 mph in a 65 mph zone. During the course of the traffic stop, Nasr informed the officer he had been traveling at a high rate of speed in order to obtain sanitary pads for his wife.

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According to Nasr’s attorney, Alfredo Parrish, the officer “behaved in an insulting manner towards Mr. Nasr, subjecting him to heightened scrutiny based on (his) apparent national origin.” Ultimately, Nasr was cited for driving 38 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.

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Nasr, now 23, pleaded guilty and paid the $314 ticket in October 2020. On Oct. 2, 2020, the Iowa Department of Transportation notified him his license was being suspended. He requested an informal appeal of the suspension, and the request was granted on Nov. 6, 2020, which stayed the suspension of his driving privileges.

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On Dec. 9, 2020, the DOT upheld the suspension order. A second appeal resulted in a hearing before Administrative Law Judge Kristine Dreckman in March, with the main issue being whether the arresting officer had exhibited personal bias against Nasr. The judge also considered whether Nasr’s requests for a driver’s improvement course had been properly considered, and whether sufficient “mitigating circumstances” were involved.

Dreckman upheld the revocation of Nasr’s driving privileges, finding that none of his arguments were sufficient for a reduction of the DOT-imposed suspension. Nasr appealed that decision, as well, and on June 18, DOT Reviewing Officer Mike Raab upheld the suspension.

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Nasr is now seeking judicial review of that decision, arguing the DOT’s actions are unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious and amount to an abuse of discretion. The DOT has yet to file a response to his court petition.

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