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Underage Drunk Driving in Iowa

Iowa has the zero tolerance law for underage OWI’s. A person under the age of twenty-one cannot operate a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of .02 or more, as opposed to .08 for drivers over the age of twenty-one. Any such person under the age of twenty-one operating a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of .02 or more is subject to license revocation for 60 days for a first offense; 90 days for a second or subsequent offense. However, if the person is under the age of twenty-one, he/she is not eligible for a temporary restricted license for at least sixty days after the effective date of the revocation.  Revocation of a driver’s license does not prevent a separate prosecution under any applicable criminal provisions. However, if the person is convicted of an OWI, the revocation imposed as a result of the conviction will trump the aforementioned revocation.


If you are under 18 years old, and you are not referred to juvenile court, then the officer must make a reasonable attempt to notify your parents or legal guardian that you were OWI. The officer does not have to notify the parents of legal guardian if he thinks it is not in your best interest or will endanger you. The officer will also reasonably attempt to notify your school. The officer’s attempt to contact can be made by telephone or certified mail, as examples.

If your license is revoked, then you will not get your license back until you turn 18 or whatever the period would normally be based on the level of your offense. The revocation period will be the longer of the two options just mentioned.

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