Iowa strongly prohibits driving while intoxicated. If convicted, you could pay hefty fines, serve jail time or have your driving license suspended. Apart from that, having a DUI on your record could also greatly impact your life in general, especially when it comes to your career; purchasing a house; or even matters like child custody, divorce, etc.
DUI laws in Iowa
According to Iowa Statute 321J.02, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in Iowa is 0.08% for those 21 years and older. For commercial drivers, the limit is 0.04%, and for those under 21 years old, the limit is zero tolerance – meaning any measurable amount of alcohol in their system would be considered a DUI offense.
Your job and a DUI record
A DUI conviction can significantly impact your job, both in the short and long run. In the short term, you may have to take time off work for court appearances, jail time or mandatory alcohol education classes. You may also have to pay higher insurance rates, which can impact your budget and finances. In the long term, a DUI offense can stay on your criminal record for up to 10 years, making it difficult to find employment in certain fields or advance in your career.
Many employers conduct background checks as part of their hiring process, and having a DUI on your record could be a red flag that causes them to look elsewhere. Even if you can find a job with a DUI on your record, you still could be passed over for promotions or pay raises due to your criminal history.
The most effective way to steer clear of the negative consequences of a drunk driving conviction is to never drink and drive. If you intend to drink alcohol, it may be helpful to plan ahead and designate a sober driver. If you find yourself in a situation in which you have been drinking, and no sober driver is available, it’s recommended to call a taxi or an Uber. Do not risk getting behind the wheel. The cost of a ride-sharing service is far less than the cost of a DUI conviction.