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Iowa allows drivers who have their license suspended due to OWI to regain driving privileges if they install an ignition interlock device to monitor their breath alcohol content (BAC). This guide will explain the steps drivers must take if convicted of an OWI.
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In Iowa, operating a vehicle while intoxicated is known as OWI, and applies to anyone who is driving with a blood alcohol content (BrAC) of .08 percent or higher, or who has any amount of a controlled substance in their blood.
Drivers who are charged with OWI will have their license revoked, even first-time offenders. The period of revocation is determined by the court, but all offenders will have their license revoked if convicted. Iowa allows convicted drivers to apply for a temporary restricted license if being unable to drive is a hardship, but drivers must install an ignition interlock device to qualify.
If you fail or refuse to complete a test, you will likely receive a license suspension of one to two years, depending on if you have past OWI offenses. If you fail the test you risk the following:
IID must be installed for all offenses/anyone wanting to apply for a temporary restricted license
For some people, going without a driver’s license is a hardship. They may have no other way to get to work or school. In those cases, they may be eligible for a restricted license that would allow them to drive to approved locations like work, school, home, treatment, and medical appointments. You may be eligible for a temporary restricted license if you meet the following criteria: .
The court requires ignition interlock devices in order for drivers to regain some of their privileges. They’re available from approved providers only. When installed, drivers will need to provide a certificate proving so to the court.
An ignition interlock device, or IID, is a small device installed in your vehicle which:
All drivers will need to visit the installation center every 60 days for calibration. Any failed tests are reported to the certifying body, IowaDOT.
Drivers are responsible for the cost of ignition interlock devices. They are rented or leased from the provider, and typically cost between $2.50 and $3.50 a day. Intoxalock offers a device protection plan for an additional $10 a month. This plan protects you if your device is stolen or damaged in an accident, or damaged via natural disaster.
If you’re facing OWI charges, an attorney can help you through the process. If you’re unsure of next steps, they can help determine your options and assist with legal paperwork.
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