Des Moines DUI Lawyer
Representation for Fighting Iowa DUI Charges
Our Des Moines DUI attorneys at Branstad & Olson represents clients facing charges for OWI throughout Iowa. If you have been arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, you face driver’s license suspension, fines, jail time, and probation. Law enforcement has strict rules they must follow when investigating and arresting a person for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. It is essential to have an experienced Des Moines OWI lawyer on your side to help assess your situation and reach your best outcome.
Iowa OWI Laws
Iowa OWI laws state that it is illegal for any person to operate a motor vehicle:
- while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of such substances
- with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher
- any found to have any amount of controlled substance in their system
Those who drive commercial vehicles are considered to be driving illegally with a BAC of .04% or more. The BAC limit for drivers who are under the age of 21 is .02%.
Iowa OWI Penalties
According to OWI laws in Iowa, the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are directly related to the offender’s number of previous offenses.
In Iowa, the penalties first-offense, second-offense, and third-offense OWI include the following:
Iowa OWI First Offense
A OWI first offense in Iowa is classified as a serious misdemeanor resulting in penalties including a jail sentence ranging from 48 hours to 1 year, a fine of up to $1,250, and driver’s license revocation for a period of 180 days to 1 year.
OWI Second Offense Iowa
A Iowa OWI 2nd offense is classified as an aggravated misdemeanor with penalties including 7 days to 2 years in prison, a fine of $1,875 to $6,250, and a minimum of 1 year driver’s license revocation.
3rd Offense DUI Iowa
A 3rd offense DUI Iowa or any subsequent offenses are categorized as a Class D felony. A felony OWI conviction will result in a mandatory prison sentence of 30 days but could result in 5 years in prison. The offender will also face a fine ranging from $3,125 to $9,375, as well as 6-year driver’s license revocation.
The court, probation, and DOT penalties may be complex. All OWI offenders will be required to undergo substance abuse evaluation, treatment may be required, and a course for drinking drivers may be required. Additionally, the driver may be required to install an ignition interlock device in their car.
Problems with Field Sobriety Testing: Are They Reliable?
A casual drive home can quickly turn into an OWI arrest if you “fail” the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST). The SFST is a battery of three tests used to determine whether there is probable cause to arrest someone for operating while intoxicated (OWI), and while they have been widely used for decades, they can be inaccurate and unreliable for various reasons.
Types of Field Sobriety Tests
The three types of field sobriety tests below:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test: This test measures the involuntary jerking of the eyes, which occurs when they move side-to-side. However, when a person is intoxicated, their nystagmus may occur at lower angles and they may be unable to smoothly track a moving object as a result. HGN tests require a person to follow a pen or penlight as it moves side-to-side, allowing the officer to examine if the suspect’s nystagmus is exaggerated.
Call Our Iowa OWI Lawyers Today
An OWI conviction can strip you of your driving privileges, livelihood, and reputation. Not only will your license get suspended but you may also suffer jail time, fines, and more. Don’t let this happen to you. Whether this is your first arrest for OWI or whether you face a third or subsequent conviction, Branstad & Olson is here to ensure all rules were followed by law enforcement and to help you take the best next step. Our Iowa OWI lawyers have over 65 years of collective experience and have successfully handled OWI cases in Iowa.
Call (515) 329-3100 now to start developing a strategic defense with our Des Moines DUI attorneys!
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