Polk County Iowa First OWI Attorney
If you’ve been charged with an OWI for the first time (an OWI is what Iowa calls a DUI), you’re facing a lot. You need a criminal defense attorney who can review your case to see if some evidence could get suppressed or if the case could even be dismissed. Drunk driving defense is serious, because a conviction could get you fines, jail time, and a lost license, along with collateral consequences like losing your job or having a hard time finding a new job.
Iowa OWI BAC
If you’re 21 or older, the legal limit for your blood alcohol content is .08. You can’t control what your BAC is by limiting yourself to a certain number of drinks.
Lots of things influence how you metabolize alcohol and how your BAC changes after you drink. Your weight is one factor you’re probably familiar with. Other things, such as your sex (women tend to have more estrogen, which may make alcohol feel like it’s hit you harder and sooner) your fat to muscle ratio, and certain vitamins and medications can affect your alcohol metabolism.
Your best bet is to make sure that you don’t have to drive after drinking any amount of alcohol. With the increasing ubiquity of services like Uber and Lyft, there’s no reason not to have a safe ride home.
Underage Iowa OWI BAC
If you’re under 21, the legal limit for your blood alcohol content is .02.
Penalties for Des Moines OWI 1st
Drunk driving is such a common charge in Iowa that your first offense is only a serious misdemeanor. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a big deal.
First DUI in Iowa comes with a mandatory 48 hour minimum — and you have to do the whole 48 hours at once. If you’re picked up for drunk driving and only spend part of the afternoon in jail, a conviction will mean that you have to go back and do 2 days consecutively.
Alternatively, the court may allow you to take a weekend class at a community college instead of serving 48 hours in jail.
The minimum fine for your first drunk driving charge in Iowa is $1250 (plus surcharges.)
If you took the BAC test (“chemical test” or “DataMaster” test) when an officer asked you to, a conviction will mean you lose your license for at least 180 days. If you refused the test, you will lose your license for a year.
First Drunk Driving Deferred Judgment
If this is your first OWI charge, you might be eligible for a deferred judgment. If you get a deferred judgment, you will be put on probation. If you successfully complete probation, you won’t have an official “conviction.”
The court can choose to offer you a deferred judgment for your first OWI charge unless you aren’t eligible.
You aren’t eligible for a deferred judgment if you’ve lost your license in the last twelve years for an OWI, if your OWI caused an accident or injury, if you’ve had two deferred judgments already, if you blew over a .15, or if you refused a DUI test.
We can help you figure out what to do about your OWI 1st offense in Des Moines, Polk County, Ankeny, Ames, Johnston, West Des Moines, Waukee, Saylorville, Bondurant, Altoona, Clive, Grimes, Pleasant Hill, Story County, Boone County, Marshall County, Dallas County, Jasper County, Madison County, Warren County, Marion County, Wapello County, Davis County, Ottumwa, Bloomfield, Iowa City, Council Bluffs, and the rest of Iowa.
This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction. Reading this site doesn’t create an attorney-client relationship. If you want to talk to us about representing you when you’re charged with an Iowa OWI, please contact us at (515) 491 6128 and we’ll set up a time to talk.