In the state of Iowa, you are guilty of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) in one of two ways. It is against the law to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If your guilt can be proven beyond reasonable doubt, you will be convicted of an Iowa DUI or OWI offense. Also, you can be convicted of OWI based on your blood alcohol content (BAC). If you are driving with a BAC of .08% or higher, you can be arrested for OWI. You do not have to actually be driving the vehicle to be guilty of the offense. If the engine is running and you are sitting in the driver's seat while intoxicated, you will be arrested. However, you cannot be arrested if sitting in a parked vehicle that does not have a running engine.OWI Arrests in Iowa
If you are arrested for OWI in the state of Iowa, you will be asked to submit to a BAC test. If you refuse to take the test, you will have your license revoked for an entire year. Before deciding whether or not to take the test, it is a good idea to talk to an experienced OWI lawyer.
Being arrested for OWI in the state of Iowa sparks two separate cases. First you will have to face a criminal court case. If no one was hurt because of your driving and your BAC was less than .15%, you can ask for deferred judgment in your criminal case if you are guilty of your first OWI offense.
You will also face an Iowa Motor Vehicle Division case. During the MVD case you will risk losing your license. It is essential to have a lawyer working with you to protect your right to drive for as long as possible.Basic Consequences for First Time Offenders
If you are convicted of your first Iowa OWI conviction, you can expect to face the following consequences:
Subsequent OWI offenses bring stricter penalties. The look back period for Iowa OWI offenses is 12 years. Prior to 12 years, an OWI conviction will not be considered when determining whether or not you are guilty of your first offense.License Suspensions for Iowa OWI
You will also lose your right to drive as a result of your OWI offense. License suspension times are as follows:
If you are eligible for deferred judgment, you will face suspension for 30 to 90 days. You can apply for a temporary license while serving your suspension in most cases. If your BAC level is .10% or higher, or if you are going to apply for a restricted license, you will have to have an ignition interlock device installed on your car before you can use it again. You will also have to have the ignition interlock device if there was an accident while your were driving drunk.Insurance Consequences
As a result of your Iowa OWI conviction, one of two things will happen to your car insurance. Either you will lose your current policy and have to shop for a new one, or you will find that your rates increase dramatically. Either way, having an OWI conviction on your record will affect your ability to get car insurance for many years.