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Driver's license revocation for OWI in Iowa

Having your driver's license revoked is one of the most inconvenient and aggravating consequences of a drunk driving arrest in Iowa. Under Iowa law, there are two basic ways in which a driver's license can be revoked in a drunk driving case: the license can be revoked administratively or by the court.

On a first offense OWI arrest, the driver's license will be revoked administratively for 180 days if the arrestee was given a breath or blood test and registered a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or more. If the arrestee has no prior revocations related to OWI in the previous 12 years and is over the age of 18, that person can apply for a temporary restricted license which will allow them to drive to and from work or school. If the driver's blood alcohol content tested at 0.10 or more, or an accident occurred, the driver will be required to install an ignition interlock device in order to be eligible for a restricted license.

On a second or subsequent offense, or if the driver has one or more license revocations in the past 12 years, the administrative revocation will last for one year. A breath test refusal will also result in an administrative suspension for one year.

The court can revoke the driver's license for similar periods upon conviction of OWI, if there has not already been an administrative suspension. The court can also order revocations in addition to any administrative revocation, for one year in the event of an accident resulting in injury, and for six years on a third offense OWI or an accident resulting in death.

Source: Iowa Dept. of Transportation, "Suspensions/Revocations," accessed Aug. 22, 2015

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