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Iowa City OWI arrests reached record high in 2015

A drunk driving arrest in Iowa can lead to serious and sometimes life-changing consequences. In addition to expensive fines, driver's license suspension and a possible jail sentence, those who are arrested for OWI may experience damage to their reputation and even loss of a job. In some cases a driver will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in his or her vehicle.

Many people who are facing a first-time drunk driving charge have never had a brush with the law before. For these individuals, being arrested and jailed can be a traumatic experience. And it's an experience being shared by more and more people in Iowa City.

Recently released statistics show that there were more drunk driving arrests in Iowa City in 2015 than in any of the previous 10 years. There were 621 arrests for drunk driving in the city in 2015. The previous record was 598 arrests in 2013. The lowest number of arrests was 319 in 2010. Over the 10-year period ending in 2015, there were a total of 4,842 arrests for drunk driving in Iowa City, which averages out to about 484 a year.

There are a number of ways to fight drunk driving charges. If the police lacked reasonable suspicion to pull the driver over in the first place, the court may be persuaded to dismiss the charges. The reliability of field sobriety tests can be challenged. Breath test results can be challenged, especially if police failed to follow proper test procedures or failed to calibrate the machine correctly. A successful defense strategy will depend on the facts and circumstances of each individual case.

Source:, "Iowa City Hits Ten Year High for Drunk Driving Arrests," Mark Carlson, Jan. 11, 2016

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