OWI/DWI Laws in Iowa

Here's what you need to know about OWI/DWI in Iowa.

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In Iowa, you can get a OWI/DWI if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired. And the law in Iowa says that if you are driving a vehicle, you have given consent to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol in your blood. Here are some details on the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test in Iowa and other details about Iowa OWI/DWI law.

In Iowa, what are the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test (usually a breathalyzer or blood test) when suspected of OWI/DWI?

Here are the consequences for not taking a breathalyzer or blood test in Iowa, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

1 year license revocation

2 year license revocation

2 year license revocation

In Iowa, when do police have to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC)?

In Iowa, law enforcement officers are supposed to measure your BAC at the time of driving. However, prosecutors may be able to prove your culpability for OWI/DWI even if your BAC is taken later than this time.

What is the maximum BAC for drivers under 21 in Iowa?

In Iowa, the maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers who are under 21 (considered minors under some drinking and driving laws) is .02%.

What are the minimum jail times for an OWI/DWI in Iowa?

Here are the minimum jail times for a OWI/DWI in Iowa, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

2 days jail

7 days jail

30 days jail

How long will prior OWI/DWI convictions remain relevant for sentencing purposes in Iowa?

In Iowa, prior OWI/DWI convictions stay on your record (and can be counted against you when you are being sentenced for another DUI/DWI offense) for good.

Can an OWI/DWI be “pleaded down” to a "wet reckless" in Iowa?

A defendant might receive a "wet reckless," or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. There is no statutory provision on whether a wet reckless plea bargain will be accepted in your state, but it's possible a lawyer may be able to create a plea bargain for you.

If you are interested in contacting a lawyer, you can find a OWI/DWI lawyer in your area in Nolo's Lawyer Directory.

Are ignition interlock devices (IIDs) required for convicted OWI/DWI offenders in Iowa?

They are required in order to drive during the period of mandatory license suspension, or if defendant's BAC is over .10%.

Where can I get more information about OWI/DWI laws in Iowa?

Nolo's DUI/DWI topic has many helpful articles, including a Drunk Driving, DUI, and DWI FAQ. For more help after a OWI/DWI arrest, see Nolo's Lawyer Directory, where you can view in-depth profiles of Iowa OWI/DWI attorneys in your area.

Last updated on 09/01/2010.

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