An arrest on drunk driving charges in Iowa can lead to serious consequences, both long- and short-term. In addition to heavy fines, a jail sentence and driver's license revocation, an individual convicted of operating while intoxicated can experience damage to their reputation and career. For those charged with repeat offenses, high blood-alcohol content "extreme" DUI, felony drunk driving or vehicular manslaughter, the stakes are even higher. A conviction on these charges can mean a state prison sentence.
Fortunately, a person facing an OWI charge in Iowa has the right to an attorney and the right to cross-examine the arresting officers. The prosecution has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and there are a number of areas where reasonable doubt can arise in a drunk driving case.
If the initial stop of the vehicle was not legal, all evidence seized after the stop - including breath test results - will be inadmissible in court. If the DataMaster breath test machine was not calibrated properly or the test protocol was not followed exactly, the test results can be thrown out. Field sobriety tests like the walk-and-turn and the one-leg stand are notoriously unreliable as indicators of intoxication; they are little more than subjective assessments by the arresting officer. Different people will perform differently on these tests depending on their age and medical history.
At J. Dean Keegan, Eric D. Tindal & Andrea Mason Attorneys At Law, we understand the stakes in an OWI case. We fight aggressively on behalf of our clients to get the charges reduced or dismissed before trial. If necessary, we will go to trial and challenge the prosecution's case. To read more about how he can help people charged with OWI, please see our Defenses To OWI/DUI web page.