Education

OWI Penalties

The Legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in Iowa is .08.

Criminal Penalties for OWI

Deferred Judgment

Available only to a first offender who was not involved in a personal injury crash, who consented to the test and whose test result was less than .15.

Jail/Prison and Fine Minimums

  • 1st offense - 48 hours jail / $1,250 fine (reductions possible)
  • 2nd offense - 7 days jail / $1,850 fine
  • 3rd offense - 30 days jail or commit to prison (5 years maximum) / $3,125 fine

Driver's License Sanctions for OWI

The following information outlines the penalties concerning License Revocations, "Work Permit" (Temporary Restricted Licenses), "Hard Suspensions" (Periods of Ineligibility for a Work Permit), and Ignition Interlock Requirements.

  • .02 violation (applies to persons under 21) - revocation of 60 days, second or subsequent violation is 90 days, no work permit is provided for
  • 1st offense (defendant consented to test) - revocation of 180 days

    Work permit rules:

  • Eligible for temporary license immediately as long as there was not an accident causing personal injury or property damage and the chemical test results are under .15.
  • Must wait 30 days for temporary license if the chemical test results are over .15 or an accident occurred.
  • Must get an ignition interlock device installed if BAC is greater than .10 or an accident occurred in order to obtain a temporary license.
  • 1st offense (defendant refused a test) - revocation of one year, hard suspension of at least 90 days

    Work permit rules:

    • No work permit until hard suspension has passed; ignition interlock is required to receive a work permit.
  • 2nd offense (defendant consented to test) - revocation of one year and hard suspension of one year

    Work permit rules:

    • No work permit is possible because the hard suspension and the revocation are both one year. However, a person convicted of a second or subsequent offense must have an ignition interlock installed for license reinstatement.
  • 2nd or subsequent offense (defendant refused a test) - revocation of two years, hard suspension of one year

    Work permit rules:

    • No work permit until hard suspension has passed; ignition interlock is required to receive a work permit.
  • 3rd or subsequent offense - sentencing court imposes six year revocation

Repeat Offenders May Lose Vehicles

Impoundment Upon Arrest

  • An officer may impound immediately upon arrest for second or subsequent OWI violation or for driving while revoked after an OWI arrest.
  • If driver doesn't own the vehicle, the owner can recover the vehicle without paying cost.
  • A second conviction for OWI can result in seizure and forfeiture of the vehicle.

Underage Drinking / Possession of Alcohol

  • If under 18, the individual is charged as a juvenile. If 18-21, the individual is charged as an adult.
  • 2nd and subsequent offense results in loss of driver's license for up to one year.
  • A person over 21 who supplies alcohol to a person under the legal age commits a serious misdemeanor. If death results, the provider can be charged with a class "D" felony.