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Possible OWI penalties for drivers in Iowa

The term drunk driving charge instills many concerns in motorists across the nation. While it is well known that such a charge could result in serious and life impacting consequences, it is also true that the laws regarding these matters vary from state to state. This means that motorists violating an OWI law in one state may suffer harsher penalties than if they committed the same violation in another state. This factor alone makes in imperative for those accused of an OWI to not only understand the charge generally but also how it is specifically handled in his or her state.

When it comes to an OWI charge, there are four penalties to be aware of. This includes license suspension or revocation, mandatory alcohol education and treatment, vehicle confiscation and the installation of an interlock device. In the state of Iowa, all of these penalties are possible, thus potentially impacting an accused drunk driving personally and professionally.

An administrative diver's license suspension or revocation is a penalty imposed on those charged with an OWI. It is also a penalty for those who refused to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test. Because of implied consent laws, a driver could face license suspension for refusing a blood or breath test. This could occur even if a driver is not convicted of an OWI. In the state of Iowa, a first time offender could have their license suspended for 180 days. For second time offenders, this increases to 2 years. And for those accused of a third offense, he or she could face 6 years of revocation.

Mandatory alcohol education and treatment means that a motorist convicted of an OWI must attend the required program for a set amount of time. In the state of Iowa, a person convicted of an OWI is only required to attend an educational program. Attending and completing this program could also help the driver avoid jail time or even some hefty fines that would apply if they didn't enroll in the program or does not complete it.

Finally, a motorist convicted of an OWI in the state of Iowa could be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in all the vehicles he or she operates. While this is not a mandatory penalty, offenders required to have this device will be subject to the payments associated with the installation, rental and maintenance of the device while it is in their vehicle or vehicles.

Source:, "State-by-State DUI Penalties," accessed July 30, 2017

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IOWA Association for justice IOWA state bar association NACDL 1958 national association of criminal defense lawyers american association for justice board certified specialist DUI defense law the iowa state bar association


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