When motorists in Iowa and elsewhere are about to get pulled over by law enforcement, it can be a nerve-wrecking situation. No one wants to be told they did something wrong, and they of course do not want to deal with the fines attached with a traffic violation. Nonetheless, motorists across the nation get pulled over for a wide variety of reasons. And for some motorists, they are being accused of something much bigger than speeding.
Being accused of drunk driving is a serious situation. It is a matter that could carry with it harsh penalties, especially if certain factors are considered aggravating. This could include circumstances such as it not being the driver's first OWI, the driver was involved in an accident, he or she was over twice the legal limit or a child was in the vehicle at the time.
When a driver is facing an OWI, this means that the driver was over the legal limit of 0.08 percent and he or she did not pass the field sobriety test or breath test. For the first offense, a driver could have their license revoked for 180 days. They are also required to install an ignition interlock device. For subsequent offenses, the driver will face a year of revocation. In cases of a third offense or an offense that involved the death of another person, revocation is for six years. One should not that criminal penalties could apply to the conviction in cases where aggravating factors exist. This could include higher fines and even a term of imprisonment.
Facing an OWI is not like facing a speeding ticket. The penalties associated with a drunk driving offense could impact a person for an extended period of time, especially if it means not being able to operate a vehicle and travel to and from work, school and other locations. Because of this, it is important to understand the criminal defense options available. Initiating a defense could help a driver reduce and even dismiss the charges against them.