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New OWI/DUI laws now in effect in Iowa

As of July 1, new laws have taken effect in Iowa that impact people convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). The legislature has lifted some restrictions, tightened others, and anyone who is contending with charges from the Fourth of July holiday will find them especially relevant. Here's what you need to know. 

Expanded Driving Privileges With Temporary Licenses

Prior to July 1, 2018, individuals charged with an OWI could have their driver license revoked from anywhere between six months to two years, depending on whether the individual blew over the legal limit, was under the influence of a controlled substance or other drug, or refused chemical testing, depending on the number of prior revocations in the previous twelve years. While this is still the case, now the options available to individuals to drive during the individual's period of revocation are endless.

Before July 1, 2018, an individual had a limited number of places in which he or she could drive including to and from work or within the course of work and to and from school, medical appointments, and a limited set of other destinations. Effective July 1, 2018, individuals can obtain a Temporary Restricted License and drive anywhere they wish so long as they have an ignition interlock device installed on all vehicles registered or operated by the individual along with SR22 insurance on all vehicles registered or operated by the individual.

Prior to the July 1, 2018 law, certain individuals had to experience a "hard suspension" of anywhere between 30 days to 45 days to 90 days, based upon whether the individual blew over a .150 blood alcohol concentration, or if there was an accident involved in the incident, or if the incident involved an OWI 1st versus an OWI 2nd. The "hard suspension" meant that the individual could not obtain a Temporary Restricted License until the "hard suspension" expired, which meant that many people could not drive to and from work for anywhere between 30 to 90 days.

The new law gets rid of "hard suspensions" so that individuals can now immediately obtain their Temporary Restricted Licenses without having to undergo any period of bar to driving. As long as individuals get their ignition interlock device installed and their SR22 insurance lined up, and as long as individuals pay the required $200 civil penalty and complete the Application, they may obtain their restricted license and be legal to drive on the roads of Iowa.

OWI TRL Permit Application.pdf

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