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Iowa DUI Laws


Iowa DUI Laws state that it is against the law to operate a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). Violating said law will result to an arrest. The grounds for your arrest may be based on two instances:

Impaired driving due to intoxication of alcohol or drugs and/or for regular drivers, a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher; for minors under 21, a BAC of 0.02% or higher, and for commercial vehicle drivers, a BAC of 0.04% or higher.

Moreover, driving under influence laws in Iowa stipulate that you don’t have to be driving the vehicle to be arrested, as long as the vehicle’s engine is running and you are behind the wheel during your intoxication qualifies as DUI.

During your arrest, the peace officer will request for a BAC test to determine the alcohol content in your system as stated by the implied consent law in all states of the country. Refusal to take the said test will result to the automatic revocation of your driver’s license for 1 year. Since this decision is crucial, refer to a skilled DUI defense lawyer.

A DUI arrest will trigger two separate cases. A criminal court case is in charge of handling the fines and penalties of DUI if the person is found guilty. You can ask the court to defer your punishment as long as there was no injury or death committed, your BAC is less than 0.15%, you took the BAC test during your arrest, or you were convicted of OWI before.

The Iowa Motor Vehicle Division case on the other hand, is in charge of the driving privileges of the person. The most important points in these cases should be referred to a DUI defense attorney who will know what to do.

The following penalties and fines are imposed by the court if convicted of DUI:

1. First DUI conviction – minimum jail time of 48 hours up to 1 year and fines from $625 to $1,250;
2. Second DUI conviction – minimum jail time of 7 days up to 2 years and fines from $1,875 to $6,250; and
3. Third DUI conviction – minimum jail time of 30 days up to 5 years and fines from $3,125 to $9,375. This conviction is now considered a class D felony.

The following driver’s license suspension is issued by the Iowa Motor Vehicle Division along with restricted license under some circumstances:

1. First offense – 180 days license suspension with possible issuance of restricted license if BAC is 0.10%; however, if above 0.10% an ignition interlock device is required. No restricted license is issued for BAC above 0.15%;
2. Second offense – 2 years license suspension with possible issuance of restricted license after 1 year provided an ignition interlock device is installed or deferred judgment after 90 days with installation of ignition interlock device; and
3. Third offense – 6 years license suspension with possible issuance of restricted license after 1 year provided an ignition interlock device is installed.

If you’re planning to drink and drive in Iowa, then you risk not just your life, but others too. Aside from these penalties and fines, Iowa DUI Laws also stipulates that you take substances abuse evaluation and treatment, plus community service, with possible vehicle impoundment.