Like every other state, Iowa has tough laws against drunk driving. In fact, when drivers are accused of operating while intoxicated, or an "OWI," they could endure harsh penalties. These penalties increase if the motorists have past OWI convictions on their record. Because of this, it is vital to understand the repercussions of an OWI conviction and what defense options are available to potentially reduce or dismiss their charges.
In Iowa, those convicted of their first OWI will likely be required to serve at least 48 hours in jail and could face a fine up to $1,500. It is possible, however, that the judge could reduce this in half if there was no bodily injury or property damage in the matter. But, if a motorist is convicted of a second offense, the penalties are more severe. A second OWI could result in seven days to two years in prison, depending on the details of the offense.
License suspension or revocation could occur if a driver is charged with an OWI. For the first offense, this is typically for 180 days. A second offense is for one year and a third offense could result in revocation for three years. Those convicted of an OWI in Iowa may be directed to attend mandatory alcohol education, assessment and treatment. It is also possible to have a vehicle confiscated or having an ignition interlock device installed in a vehicle. Interlock devices are required in Iowa when a driver has a BAC of 0.10 percent or higher.
Facing any type of criminal charge is a difficult situation to be in. Because the penalties for an OWI conviction can be overwhelming and life-impacting, it is important to consider ways to reduce or eliminate these consequences.