Charges dropped after misunderstanding led local business owner to think driver’s license was valid when it wasn’t

UPDATE:  Charges filed against local business owner Brian Rashid have been dismissed, according to Scott County Attorney Mike Walton.  Rashid was picked up for driving on a suspended license in mid-June; this came months after he was charged with driving under the influence for the sixth time.

Walton said the charge was filed as a result of an Iowa Department of Transportation mistake. The motion filed in the Scott County State's Attorney's Office said in part:

"The defendant had been pulled over on April 8, 2019, and cited with two tickets: one for Speeding, and one for Violation of Restricted License. The defendant paid those two tickets, resulting in him showing as having two moving violations within the same 12-month time period. Combined with his guilty plea and conviction for Operating While Under the Influence (OWI) on March 27, 2019, this made for three violations, resulting in suspension as a Habitual Violator. The Department of Transportation (DOT) confirmed, upon investigation, that because the defendant had already been revoked for an OWI test refusal arising from the same incident, he was improperly suspended as a Habitual Violator. This, coupled with the faulty information given the defendant by the DOT customer care representative regarding his Temporary Restricted License status, resulted in the defendant driving under the mistaken understanding that his license was valid."

Both the Iowa DOT and the Bettendorf Police Department support the dismissal of the case.

Click here to read the motion to dismiss. 

ORIGINAL:  BETTENDORF, Iowa -- A Bettendorf businessman has been charged with driving on a suspended license months after receiving his sixth DUI.

Brian Rashid, the 58-year-old owner of Treehouse Pub and Eatery, was pulled over Tuesday morning, June 28 by Bettendorf Police for a routine traffic stop.

Bettendorf Police Chief Keith Kimball said an officer recognized Rashid and his vehicle in the 800 block of State Street at 11:13 a.m. He said the officer noted that Rashid's rear license plate was not displayed properly.

Kimball said the officer ran the front license plate and confirmed that Rashid’s license was revoked. He was then charged with driving while license revoked, a serious misdemeanor;  driving under suspension and display of plates, both simple misdemeanors.

This comes just months after Brian Rashid's most recent driving under the influence charge.  Scott County Attorney Mike Walton said that latest DUI was on March 27, 2019. Walton said that charge would have been his third offense, but Iowa law led officers to drop it to a lesser charge.

"He had a history of driving under the influence but it was more than 15 years old," Walton said. "In Iowa, in order to enhance it to a second or third (offense of) operating under the influence, it has to be within 12 years. So he didn’t have any within 12 years so it had to be charged as an OWI 1st."

Court records show there are four operating while under the influence charges in Iowa, one in Rock Island County, and one in Henry County. Rashid also has three charges of driving on a suspended license across Iowa and Illinois.

"On his most recent case he was sentenced to 120 days all but two of those were suspended," Walton said. "So he did have to do jail or in-home detention. Theoretically, he still has 118 days that he may have to do on that. If he were to be convicted of this offense yesterday a judge could sentence him to those 118 days in jail."

After being booked into jail, Rashid posted a $3,300 bond and was released in less than 45 minutes.

"It’s the law," Walton said. "Sometimes we wish that we could have a larger penalty than what the law provides but that’s just not our option."

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.