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Iowa OWI Penalties and fines after drunk driving arrest

What should I do after an Iowa OWI?

It is illegal in the state of Iowa to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Recently on our DUI forum we had a driver ask, “What fines and penalties can I expect after an Iowa OWI or DUI arrest?”

Fines and Penalties for an Iowa OWI

If you have been arrested for an Iowa OWI you may be tempted to plead guilty and put the arrest and conviction behind you as soon as possible. Given the increased fines and penalties and long-term consequences of an OWI this may not be the best idea. In fact, most drivers arrested for an Iowa OWI need to talk to a DUI lawyer for more information about their options. General fines and penalties you might face after an Iowa OWI include the following:
  1. Jail time from 48 hours up to a maximum of one year
  2. Fines from $625 to $1,250
  3. License suspension up to 180 days
  4. Ignition interlock device installation may be required if your BAC is above 0.10%
  5. Court ordered abuse evaluation and treatment possible
  6. Potential community service and drinking driving course attendance may be required

Why was my license confiscated after Iowa OWI arrest?

States have implemented implied consent laws which state that drivers have given their implied consent to submit to a chemical test if they are arrested by a police officer and the officer has probable cause to believe they have been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The officer gets to choose which test you take, but you can refuse a blood test without penalty if you then submit to the officer’s second choice. The officer may also request you take a preliminary breath test prior to the chemical test, but you have the right to refuse this test.  Consider, however, even if you refuse the preliminary breath test the officer may still have enough evidence to arrest you for an Iowa OWI. The police officer has two hours from the time they offered you the preliminary breath test or from the time of your arrest to provide a blood, breath or urine test. More information about Iowa’s implied consent laws can be found at Iowa Code Title VIII, Chapter 321J.6.

What if I refuse the chemical test after an Iowa OWI arrest?

Drivers who refuse the chemical test will have their driver’s license automatically suspended for one year for first time denials. If you have refused the test after a previous OWI arrest you will have your license suspended for 2 years. The officer will give you a temporary license that you can use for 10 days after the OWI arrest. During this time you have the legal right to challenge the administrative license suspension by requesting a hearing. A hardship license may be available after completing a 90 day suspension if you are willing to install an ignition interlock device on your car.

Can I plead to a lesser charge after an Iowa OWI arrest?

Talk to an OWI lawyer for more information about your ability to plead to a wet reckless charge after an Iowa OWI arrest. There is no statutory provision for a wet reckless plea bargain, but your lawyer may be able to negotiate one with the prosecutor.
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