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DUI in Iowa

DWI in Iowa

The state of Iowa considers Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) serious offenses. An arrest will mean two separate cases. One with the state and one with the Iowa Department of Motor Vehicles (IDMV).

The law states that it is illegal for any person to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol. This does include illegal drugs, over the counter medication and/or prescribed medication that impairs the ability of the driver. If the driver is found to have a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08% or higher, he or she will be charged with OWI/DWI. It is very risky to drive while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. This endangers those around you as well as your own safety.

Once convicted of an OWI or DWI, in the state of Iowa, the consequences are severe. A conviction will occur when the prosecutor proves guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”. It is critical that you contact an experienced and qualified OWI/DWI attorney to represent you in court. You need someone on your side to protect your rights and personal freedom. A conviction brings with it heavy fines, jail time, lose of driver's license, etc. These will not only affect you but also your family. Do not wait, contact us today.

Iowa has an implied consent law. Whenever an officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that you are intoxicated and/or under the influence of drugs, you should agree to have a breath, blood and/or urine test to determine your current physical state. The implied consent law pertains to any person operating a motor vehicle. You do have the right to refuse the tests, however, you will loose your driver's license for one to two years.

For those convicted of an OWI or DWI in Iowa will need to attend and complete a drunk drivers education class. A conviction also requires that the driver have a substance abuse evaluation and have treatment for abuse if needed. The person convicted must pay these services.

In Iowa, once convicted you are required to pay a $200 fine to the state's victim restitution fund. 


If you have no prior convictions or deferred judgments for OWI/DWI and if there were no personal injuries, the state of Iowa will enforce the following fines and penalties:

First Offense (Misdemeanor):
          Up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $1,500
          Government surcharge of 32% of monetary fine
          Driver's license revoked for six months
Second Offense (Aggravated Misdemeanor):
          Fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to two years in prison
          Driver's license revoked for two years

Third Offense Within a 12-year period (Felony):
          Jail time up to five years
          Fine between $2,500 and $7,500
          Driver's license revoked for six years

Any person, once convicted of an OWI/DWI, seeking a temporary driver's license must install an interlock ignition device of all vehicles owned or operated.

The state of Iowa enforces the Zero Tolerance law. Any person under the age of 21 will face OWI/DWI charges when their BAC is over .02%.  The Zero Tolerance law states that any person found guilty of OWI/DWI will be ineligible for a temporary driver's license.

Some states have provisions for the expungement of OWI, DUI, or DWI charges from a person's criminal record. Iowa is not included and does not allow such expungement.