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Drunk Driving in Iowa: What an OWI Could Mean For You

If you were arrested in Iowa for operating a vehicle while intoxicated —an OWI — you might be wondering how to regain your license. We’ll outline how to navigate Iowa laws, conviction penalties and how Intoxalock can help you get a temporary license. 

OWI Arrests in Iowa

Motorists may be charged with an OWI in Iowa if they were operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content, or BAC, of .08 percent or higher or have any amount of a controlled substance or alcohol in their system. However, driving while impaired — even without having a BAC of .08 percent or higher — could land you with an OWI.

A judge or jury could conclude that a person was under the influence through evidence that the individual’s mental ability was affected, judgment impaired or lost control of bodily actions or motions. It also is possible to be charged with an OWI without actually driving. Iowa law defines operating as being in control of a vehicle in motion, or a vehicle that has the engine running.

Additionally, Iowa has an implied consent law that requires drivers to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test if a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe the driver is impaired. Motorists who refuse testing could immediately have their license revoked for one year if facing their first OWI offense or longer for subsequent offenses. 

OWI Penalties Following a Conviction

Iowa law requires mandatory minimum sentences for OWI convictions. If convicted by a judge or jury for a first OWI, a person could spend 48 hours to a year in jail. They could also face fines of $625 to $1,250 and a license revocation of 180 days to one year. Drivers face steeper penalties for second or subsequent OWI convictions. 

Anyone convicted of an OWI in Iowa must complete a substance abuse evaluation and court-ordered treatment. If convicted of a second or subsequent OWI, a court can commit a driver to an inpatient treatment program. However, time spent in in-patient treatment can be credited towards jail time. Iowa laws also require offenders to complete a course for drunken driving. Those convicted will also need to pay fees for the course and for the treatment.  

Regaining Your Iowa License

After finishing the required treatment and the drunken driving course, Iowa drivers can apply for a temporary restricted license. Drivers may need a SR-22 insurance certificate. Additionally, they may face higher insurance rates even after regaining a full driver's license. Drivers also must pay a $200 civil penalty and install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle to reinstate their license.

Intoxalock, based in Iowa, has more than 80 service center locations across the state with certified technicians who can help you get back on the road. Call us today at 844-899-6211 for a quote, or to schedule an installation appointment. 


Category: Drunk Driving

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