Across the United States, it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, of 0.08 or higher. The state of Iowa has additional penalties for anyone caught with a BAC of 0.15 or more. You might get lighter penalties if this is your first offense, but if you have another OWI conviction on your record, you could be facing some serious jail time.
What are the OWI penalties in Iowa?
If this is your first offense, you might be looking at two days in jail and a $1,250 fine. Your criminal defense attorney might be able to get the penalties reduced by arguing that you didn’t cause any bodily harm or property damage. Still, your driver’s license could be suspended for up to 180 days, making it difficult to go to work, drive your kids to school and complete other duties.
The punishments are more severe for repeat offenders. If this is your second offense, you could be looking at a one-year license suspension and up to two years in prison. A third offense could include even more prison time and three years of license suspension. You might also be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, which requires you to measure your BAC before you start your vehicle. If your BAC is over the legal limits, the vehicle won’t operate.
Depending on the situation, you could get your vehicle confiscated altogether. You might also be required to take drunk driving classes or go to rehab. If you’re a minor, you only need a BAC of 0.02 or greater to get arrested. An OWI attorney may explain your situation in more detail.
Can you defend yourself against OWI charges?
If you’re facing OWI charges, hiring an attorney should be your first step. Many OWI charges come with additional charges like resisting arrest or refusing to take a breath test. An attorney may help figure out the best possible way to approach your case and seek to get some of your charges reduced.