SPELLMAN LAW, P.C.
Based In West Des Moines, Iowa, Practicing In Central
Iowa And Throughout The State Of Iowa

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What to know about OWI in Iowa

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2022 | Blog, Drunk Driving |

Every state enacts laws to combat drunk driving to keep roads safe, even if they use different initials. While most states call it DUI, Iowa calls it OWI, or operating under the influence. Drivers in West Des Moines, Iowa, who get caught drunk driving face several stiff penalties.

Overview of Iowa OWI

Iowa’s OWI law makes driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or a combination a punishable offense. The legal BAC limit in the state for a standard driver is .08 for standard drivers, and .04 for commercial drivers. They may also be charged with OWI/DUI for any amount of a controlled substance in urine or blood tests.

The definition of operating means the vehicle must be in motion or the engine running. If the keys are in the engine and motor not running, the driver cannot be charged.

Penalties for OWI

First offenses commonly count as a misdemeanor and a second offense counts as an aggravated misdemeanor Penalties for a first offense commonly includes 48 hours to one year in jail and fines between $625 to $1250.

The license is suspended for 180 days with restricted license options without prior convictions or breathalyzer refusal, but they must use an ignition interlock device. Some drivers who registered a BAC under .15 may be eligible for deferred judgments if they didn’t cause bodily injury or previous deferments.

Second offense penalties commonly include seven days to two years in jail, one-year license suspension, and a fine between $1875 and $$6250. A third offense commonly gets the driver 30 days to five years in jail and a minimum fine of $2500. OWI offenses in Iowa do not extend beyond a third offense, but the penalties may increase.

DA diver charged with OWI in Iowa must attend the required substance abuse evaluation program. OWI charges can follow drivers for a long time, so they need a good defense strategy.

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Sean P. Spellman
Mary K. “Molly” Spellman