State Laws

Iowa DUI Laws

     

Iowa law states that an individual may only be convicted of a drunk driving offense if the prosecuting attorney proves to the court that the individual was operating an automobile under alcohol or drug influence or while having a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 percent or higher.

Operating while intoxicated or driving under the influence charges will not stick unless the prosecuting attorney can prove through evidence that the individual is guilty. Legal terms have determined that driving while under the influence or while intoxicated includes having the engine running or while having physical control of the automobile.

Iowa DUI Consequences
In Iowa the number of offenses an individual has dictates the severity of his or her sentencing. Prior DUI offenses will increase punishments in varying degrees. Any DUI offense can end in a driver's license suspension. All punishments can vary depending on an individual's blood alcohol content level at the time of the arrest and if a chemical test was refused.

Driving under the influence as a first offense is a serious misdemeanor in Iowa. Punishments for this serious misdemeanor can include between two days and one year in jail with a fine between twelve hundred fifty dollars and fifteen hundred dollars along with thirty-two percent of the government four hundred-dollar surcharge. This judgment can be deferred if a breath test was not refused, the blood alcohol content was not over 0.15 percent, and no other individual was injured.

A second offense of driving under the influence is classified as an aggravated misdemeanor and is punishable by incarceration between seven days and two years with or without a fine between eighteen hundred fifty dollars and five thousand dollars. Unlike other states Iowa does not erase records after five years, so any kind of DUI offense in the past twelve years will count as a prior offense -- deferred or convicted.

A third offense of driving under the influence is classified as a Class D Felony. Punishments for this felony can include incarceration anywhere between thirty days and five years with or without a fine between thirty-one hundred twenty-five dollars and seventy-five hundred dollars. Any subsequent offenses are classified as Class D Felonies.

Court Revoking
A third DUI offense can earn a revocation of six years and will only be eligible for temporary licensing two years following conviction. An ignition interlock device is required in these circumstances. A DUI offense where an individual was injured will earn an addition year of revoke and an ignition interlock device is mandatory.

No matter the number of prior offenses, if a DUI offense resulted in a death, the individual will receive six extra years of revoke. He or she will be eligible for a temporary licenses after two years with a mandatory ignition interlock device.

Minor DUIs
Iowa has a zero tolerance law for minor drunk driving under the age of twenty-one. Any blood alcohol content level will be charged with a DUI. A driver's license can be revoked for sixty days with a first offense and ninety days for any subsequent offenses.

See also:
Iowa Felony
Iowa Gun Laws
Iowa Divorce
Iowa Misdemeanor External link (opens in new window)
Iowa Expungement External link (opens in new window)