You will face two separate legal actions if you are arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) in Iowa, as in other states: a criminal case for the offense and a civil case involving your license. This means you likely will spend a considerable amount of time dealing with the state's court system and paying and various fees -- even before a verdict has been reached. If you are found guilty of an Iowa OWI, you will be required to serve at least 48 hours in jail and/or a $1,250 fine; however, the judge may waive up to half of that if there was no bodily injury or property damage caused by the offense. The penalties for a second offense only get more severe, punishable by a minimum of seven days and up to two years in prison.
It's best to avoid driving while intoxicated, of course. But if you find yourself charged with an OWI, understanding the law is the first step toward protecting your interests. The basics of Iowa's OWI laws are listed below, with links to related resources.
Iowa DUI (OWI) Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent
|"Per Se" BAC Limit||0.08 Percent|
|Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit||0.02 Percent|
|Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit||0.15 Percent|
|Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test?||Yes (1 year license suspension for refusal)|
Iowa DUI (OWI) Laws: Select Penalties
|Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense)||180 days / 1 year / 3 years|
|Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment||Both (can be mandatory)|
|Vehicle Confiscation Possible?||Yes|
|Ignition Interlock Device Possible?||Yes, (required if BAC is above .10%)|
Note: State laws are always changing through legislative, judicial, or other means. While FindLaw works hard to ensure the accuracy of its legal resources, it's a good idea to thoroughly research the law or check with an attorney to make sure you have the most recent information.
Iowa DUI (OWI) Resources
Charged with an OWI? Have an Attorney Review Your Case
A conviction for OWI in Iowa can result in hefty fines, license suspension, even jail time in some instances. And while you may not want to pile legal fees on top of that, a good attorney will advocate on your behalf and perhaps even save you money -- or keep you out of prison. If you have been arrested for OWI and need help understanding the law, you can have an Iowa OWI attorney review your case for free.