What Are the Financial Costs Associated With OWI in Iowa?

In Iowa, operating while intoxicated (OWI), first offense, is punishable by:

  • A minimum period of imprisonment in the county jail of forty-eight hours. The court may defer the judgment and place the driver on probation
  • Assessment of a fine of $1,250
  • Revocation of the person’s driving license for a minimum period of one hundred eighty days
  • Complete a substance abuse evaluation and any recommended treatment
  • A drinking drivers course

OWI in Iowa is a serious criminal offense. That said, I want to discuss financial consequences of a first time OWI. In this post, I’m going to summarize the costs that are associated with a first offense OWI in Iowa.

As it was already mentioned, the driver must pay a fine of $1,250. Moreover, pursuant to Chapter 911 of Iowa Code, a surcharge equal to 35% of the fine is imposed by the State. That means that the driver will pay additional $438 on top of the fine. There are also court costs assessed, which will be no lower than $65, but could be higher depending on various factors.

In most cases, the driver will also be put on probation. Probation charges a fee of $300 for a person to be on probation. The driver will also be required to obtain a substance abuse evaluation. The average price is $125 for a standard substance abuse evaluation. If there is any recommended treatment, the person will have to pay for and undergo that substance abuse treatment. The cost of treatment can be very expensive. Additionally, the driver may have to complete a drinking drivers program, which will likely cost about $350.

In some cases, to get a temporary restricted driving license the driver will have to install an ignition interlock device on all motor vehicles that he owns and operates. Very often people lease ignition interlock devices. The price is about $80 a month. Installation prices vary. Some companies offer free installation. Thus, if the driver owns two cars but uses only one, he will have to pay $160 a month.

Finally, to reinstate the driving license the driver will have to pay a civil penalty to the Department of Transportation in the amount of $200 and obtain SR-22 high risk driving insurance. The high risk insurance will raise a person’s insurance premium rates.

In really serious cases, when OWI lead to an incident that resulted in bodily or other injury, the driver will have to pay restitution to the victim. Moreover, the driver will have to pay the costs of the emergency response resulting from the actions constituting a violation and $55 a day for any time spent in jail.

As you can see, the driver who is guilty of OWI will pay a lot of fines and costs. That is why it is always important to have an attorney who will guide you through this process and will save your money. If you were charged with OWI in Iowa or have any questions about OWI in Iowa, please, call Stowers and Sarcone at (515) 224-7446.

What is OWI in Iowa?

drink-driving-808790_960_720First of all, operating while intoxicated (OWI) in Iowa is a serious offense. Every driver should know and understand the consequences of OWI. As I previously wrote, the purpose of the blog is to educate our readers on different aspects of criminal law. That is why, I will write a series of posts that will help to better understand Iowa OWI laws.

Let’s start with the definition of the offense of OWI in Iowa. A drivers commits the offense of OWI if he or she operates a motor vehicle:

  • While under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or other drug or a combination of such substances
  • While having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more
  • While any amount of a controlled substance is present in the person, as measured in the person’s blood or urine.

Under the OWI statute, a motor vehicle is a vehicle that is self-propelled. That definition includes almost all cars, trucks, busses, and other vehicles, i.e. golf cars or snowmobiles.

What are the consequences of OWI in Iowa if it happens to a driver for the first time? OWI in Iowa is a serious misdemeanor. The court may imprison a driver up to one year in jail. The court may also order a driver to pay a fine in the amount of one thousand two hundred fifty dollars. The law imposes stricter sanctions for the second, third and each subsequent OWI offense.

At Stowers and Sarcone, we help a lot of people who are charged with OWI in Iowa. We want to help our readers as well. In my subsequent posts, I will talk in detail about different aspects of OWI in Iowa:

  • refusals to take breath tests
  • chemical tests
  • whether a driver can be accused of OWI if he takes prescription drugs
  • what a driver should do if he or she is accused of OWI in Iowa.

In the meantime, if you have any questions concerning an OWI in Iowa, please, do not hesitate to call me at (515) 224-7446. I will be happy to discuss them with you.