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Penalties for DUI (OWI) in Iowa

A first offense is a misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail between 48 hours to one year (or probation with a deferred judgment); up to $1,250 in fines (or as an alternative, community service); and revocation of the person’s driver’s license for a minimum period of 180 days up to a maximum period of a year.  If the revocation is a result of a refusal to submit to a BAC test, the revocation of the person’s driver’s license is for a minimum period of 90 days.

A second offense is an aggravated misdemeanor and is punishable by: a minimum period of imprisonment in the county jail for seven days, not to exceed two years; a minimum fine of $1,850 and a maximum fine of $6,250; revocation of the defendant’s driver’s license for one year. If the revocation occurs due to the refusal of a BAC test, the defendant’s license shall be revoked for a period of two years.  Lastly, a defendant guilty of a second offense is subject to substance abuse evaluation and treatment, a course for drinking drivers, and if available, a substance abuse prevention program.

A driver convicted for a second time will not have the option for deferred sentencing or judgment.

If you are convicted for a third time of an OWI in Iowa you are guilty of a class “D” felony and this is punishable by: commitment to the custody of the director of the department of corrections for a mandatory minimum term of thirty days, not to exceed five years; a fine between $3,125 and $9,375; revocation of defendant’s driver’s license for six years; and assignment to substance abuse evaluation and treatment (at defendant’s expense) and, if available and appropriate, a reality education substance abuse prevention program.

OWI Serious Injury by Motor Vehicle: will be subject to fines between $750 and $7,500; a mandatory 5 years in prison; 1 year license suspension (in addition to any administrative revocation). May also be required to submit to substance abuse evaluation, drunk drivers course, and restitution.

OWI Vehicular Homicide: $1,000- $10,000 in fines; a mandatory 25 years in prison, and 6 year license suspension (in addition to any administrative revocation). May also be instructed to $150,000 in restitution to the victim’s estate and substance abuse evaluation and treatment.

As a result of your Iowan 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.


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