OWI license revocations in Iowa

Iowa drivers should be aware of the state’s laws concerning driving with a revoked license after a conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Among the many potential penalties for an OWI conviction in Iowa is the loss of driving privileges. There are many situations which can result in a drivers' license revocation and being aware of these is important. Interestingly, a person can even lose the right to drive without being convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Revocations for test refusals

The Iowa State Legislature points out that the simple refusal to participate in chemical testing upon request by an officer can result in a drivers' license being revoked. The length of time that a license can be lost varies based upon whether or not any previous offenses have occurred.

Without any prior offenses, the revocation period in these cases will last one year. Drivers must wait at least 90 days before requesting a temporary license. The use of a temporary license must be accompanied by the installation and use of an ignition interlock device.

When a prior offense is on record, the revocation period will last two years. Drivers must wait a full year before requesting a temporary license.

Revocations after OWI convictions

According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, even a first-time conviction of an OWI offense can find a person losing a driver's license. A 180-day revocation period is experienced for first offenses. Other parameters include the following:

  • If a driver's blood alcohol content was .10 percent or greater or an accident was involved, an IID must be installed before a temporary license can be granted.
  • If a driver's blood alcohol content was .15 or greater, the request for a temporary license cannot be granted until after the first 30 days.
  • A driver 20 or younger cannot request a temporary license until after 60 days.
  • A driver under 18 cannot request a temporary license at all.

For second offenses, licenses will be revoked for one year and drivers cannot apply for temporary privileges until after 45 days.

Driving with a revoked license

It is a misdemeanor to drive with a revoked license per the State of Iowa. Vehicles are subject to impoundment if drivers operate while under revocation due to an OWI. If a previous offense for driving while revoked is on record, the state can seize the vehicle.

Options for arrested drivers

The best thing that a driver arrested for OWI charges can do is to talk to an experienced attorney. Getting help from someone who knows the complete laws is an important step toward having rights protected.