It sounds like the start to a very bad joke: A drunk, a zebra and a parrot get into a car. What happened next, though, was no laughing matter, at least not for Jerald Reiter, who was arrested for driving while intoxicated. The rest of us can still chuckle, though.
The Cascade, Iowa man was stopped by police on May 20 following reports that animals were trapped in a vehicle parked at a local business. By the time Officer Chad Leitzen of the Dubuque police arrived on the scene, the owner of the car was there and clearly intoxicated. (Probably not surprising, as he was coming out of a bar.) The real surprise was that the man had a zebra in the cabin of his pickup truck and a parrot on his shoulder. The police report stated, “I did observe two white male subjects in the front of the vehicle. I also observed a zebra in the back seat of the vehicle and a parrot on the driver’s shoulder.” Pretty sure the police academy doesn’t train you for that one. The officer conducted a breathalyzer test on Reiter, who flunked spectacularly with a blood alcohol content of .148, well over the .08 state limit. Reiter allegedly argued that he was in the process of switching seats with his (human) friend once he realized he was too drunk to drive.
Reiter’s girlfriend, Vickey Teters, told reporters that the zebra and parrot are their pets. “They love going for rides,” she told CNN affiliate KCRG. “We treat them like our kids. They come in the house, we take them outside and take them for walks. We take them for car rides.” Unfortunately for Reiter, who was held overnight, neither zebras nor parrots make very good designated drivers.