Iowa DUI Laws, Limits, and Penalties

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Based on Iowa DUI Laws, the Department of Transportation will suspend your license if you get a DUI conviction. In Iowa, a DUI is the same as an OWI (operating while under the influence). If you refuse the BAC test, you don’t need a conviction for a suspension. Your license is revoked immediately and for a year for first-time offenders. DUIs are not the only penalty you will face; the court will impose criminal penalties as well.

What is the Iowa BAC Test?

To determine who is over the legal limit of alcohol and drug consumption, a blood alcohol concentration test is done. The results vary among adults and minors.

If you receive a result higher than the numbers below, you are above the legal limit:

  • 0.08% or more for adults (21 years and over)
  • 0.02% or more for minors (under 21 years old)

Even if you are below the legal limit, you can still be charged for driving while intoxicated.

Iowa DUI Laws & Penalties

Iowa DUI Laws use administrative and criminal penalties on drivers convicted of a DUI. The Department of Transportation implements administrative penalties. The penalties are usually suspensions. A suspension for a first-time offender is a few months but for a repeat offender; it can be years.

Here are some administrative penalties for adults:

  • 1st offense: loss of license for 180 days
  • 2nd offense (in 12 years): loss of license for one year
  • 3rd offense (in 12 years): loss of license for six years

For a minor:

  • 1st offense: loss of license for 60 days
  • 2nd offense: loss of license for 90 days

In addition to a suspension, you must complete a course for drinking drivers and undergo a substance abuse evaluation or treatment program.

The court issues criminal penalties. Most criminal penalties include fines imposed by the court. The fines are in addition to the cost of the citation you receive the first time. For a DUI conviction, you are charged a $200 civil penalty. Also, you are charged with a misdemeanor and must pay a $1,000 fine.

Refusal to take the BAC test will result in an Ignition Interlock Device installation (IID). You must cover the cost of installation and maintenance fees.

Iowa License Reinstatement

To get your license back, you must complete all the administrative penalties first. You must:

  • Complete a substance abuse evaluation and treatment services
  • Complete a drinking driver course
  • Install an IID (if applicable)
  • Pay the civil penalty
  • Show proof of financial responsibility