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What Are The Consequences of a Breath Test Refusal In Iowa?

When a driver is pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in Iowa, they will usually be asked to take a breath test for blood alcohol content. The driver has the right to refuse the test, but there are serious consequences for the refusal. Of course, there are also serious consequences if the driver takes the test, fails it, and is convicted of OWI.

Under Iowa's implied consent law, every driver is deemed to consent to take a breath test if there are reasonable grounds to believe they are driving under the influence. A first-time refusal to take the test will result in an automatic driver's license revocation for one year. If the driver has refused the test on a prior occasion, the revocation will be for two years. In contrast, if the driver takes the test and fails, the license is revoked for 180 days on a first arrest or one year if there was a prior revocation.

There are other consequences of refusing the test. The driver must pay a civil penalty of $200 and either attend a class on drinking and driving and submit to substance abuse evaluation and possibly treatment. A driver who refuses a test will not be eligible for a restricted driver's license for 90 days after the revocation takes effect, or for one year after the revocation effective date if they have a prior revocation for test refusal. If the driver seeks a restricted license, an ignition interlock device must be installed in their vehicle.

When a driver has to decide whether to refuse a breath test, contacting an attorney immediately is often a good idea. The decision whether or not to take the test will depend on a number of facts and legal issues, and an experienced Iowa OWI lawyer can help the driver make an informed choice.

Source: Iowa Code §§ 321J.9 - 17, accessed July 18, 2015

Categories
  • The Iowa State Bar Association
  • DUI Defense Law
  • NACDL
  • AAJ
  • Iowa Association of Justice

Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger 

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  • J. Dean Keegan
  • Eric D. Tindal
  • Andrea D. Jaeger
  • J. Dean Keegan J. Dean Keegan

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    Decades of Award-Winning Legal Service J. Dean Keegan was born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa. After high school, Dean served ...
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  • Eric D. Tindal Eric D. Tindal

    Attorney

    Highly Rated Criminal Defense in Iowa City Eric D. Tindal, attorney at Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger, graduated from the University ...
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  • Andrea D. Jaeger Andrea D. Jaeger

    Attorney

    Experienced Criminal Defense in the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities Andrea D. Jaeger practices in federal and state courts, ...
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    Henry County FECR005634. Attorney Tindal’s client was charged with First Degree Murder and Child Endangerment Causing Death. Following a two week trial, the Defendant was acquitted of all charges.

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    Muscatine County FECR050038. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with two counts of controlled substance violation, as well as two counts of failure to affix tax stamp. After a year of court appearances and negotiating with the prosecutor, all charges were dismissed with costs assessed to the State.

  • Carrying Weapons, Public Intoxication, & Disorderly Conduct Carrying Weapons & Public Intoxication Charges D

    Linn County AGCR108044. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with Carrying Weapons, Public Intoxication, and Disorderly Conduct. After plea negotiations with the State, Mr. Keegan was successful in dismissing the Carrying Weapons and Public Intoxication charges.

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    Iowa County FECR010358. Attorney Tindal was able to show the Court that his client was detained in violation of his Constitutional rights and that the K9 utilized in the search was unreliable. Following hearing all charges were dismissed.

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    Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa. An employee of a Cedar Rapids business accused of embezzling six million dollars was not charged criminally after the County Attorney agreed to abide by an agreement negotiated by Attorneys J. Dean Keegan and Jerald Kinnamon in which the accused would pay two million dollars to the company.

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    Washington Count FECR5351. Attorney Tindal and Attorney Clemens Erdahl successfully argued that evidence of drug manufacture was obtained in violation of the Constitution. All charges were dismissed.

  • Operating While Intoxicated 3rd Offense Charge Dismissed

    Linn County OWCR104143. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with a felony 3rd offense OWI. Mr. Keegan argued the officer did not have reasonable grounds to pull over his client. The charges were dropped from a felony to a ticket fine of $15.00 for being in a park past closing time.

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