An arrest for driving while intoxicated can have serious consequences in Iowa, including driver's license suspension, fines and potential jail time. If there are kids in the car, the consequences can be much more severe. An Iowa City woman is currently facing child endangerment charges after she was arrested for OWI on Thanksgiving Day.
According to Iowa City police, the 28-year-old woman was arrested around 8:20 p.m. on the holiday. Officers had been called to the scene after they received a report that a woman was slashing tires on a vehicle.
Police claim that when they got to the area, the woman was driving away from the scene. She was pulled over and given a blood alcohol test, which allegedly showed a blood alcohol content over 0.08 percent. Police say the woman had her two children, aged nine and six, in the car at the time she was pulled over.
The woman now faces an aggravated misdemeanor charge of child endangerment, as well as OWI. A conviction on both charges could result in a three-year prison sentence.
In Iowa, a person with custody or control over a child can be charged with child endangerment if they knowingly put the child in physical danger. The charge will be an aggravated misdemeanor if, as in this case, the child was unharmed. If the child is injured or killed, the charge will be a felony.
When child endangerment charges arise solely in connection with an OWI arrest, a dismissal of the OWI charge should result in dismissal of the child endangerment charges as well. There are a number of ways to fight an OWI charge in Iowa, and having a solid defense strategy can make a big difference.
Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen, "Woman charged for driving drunk, slashing tires," Stephen Gruber-Miller, Nov. 30, 2015