January 6, 2018

Drunk Driver Smashes into Residential Home in Iowa

By Ray Scheetz

drunk driving, DUI, DWI, criminal defence, lawyer

An alleged drunk driver faces criminal charges for DUI after careening off the road and smashing into a residential home in Iowa, according to an article by KWQC.

This accident occurred at approximately 11:30 p.m. on November 10, 2017, in Scott County.  The driver was attempting to execute a turn.  Instead, the driver plowed into the front side of a residential home.  Although authorities rushed the driver to a hospital, there were not any significant injuries as a result of this accident.

In light of this news story, it will be beneficial to review Iowa laws concerning drunk driving. The following sections will examine the definition of and penalties for drunk driving in Iowa.

What is the Definition of Drunk Driving in Iowa?

Referred to legally as operating while intoxicated (OWI), it is illegal to operate a vehicle while drunk or otherwise impaired in Iowa.  It does not matter if the driver was impaired by alcohol, medication, illegal drugs, or a combination of compounds.  OWI laws can apply anytime a person drives a vehicle while impaired.

The legal driving limit for alcohol in Iowa is a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08.  If a driver has a BAC beyond 0.08, then they have committed the crime of OWI.  Additionally, Iowa laws prohibit any use of illegal drugs while operating a vehicle.  If a driver has even a tiny amount of illegal drugs in their system, then they have committed the crime of OWI.

What are the Penalties for Drunk Driving in Iowa?

Iowa features a graduated penalty system for drunk driving.  If a person is convicted of more than one drunk driving offense within a twelve year period of time, the penalties escalate dramatically.  Below is a breakdown of drunk driving penalties in Iowa:

  • First Conviction: Considered a serious misdemeanor punishable by maximum jail time up to one year and $1,250 in fines.
    • The convicted drunk driver must be confined in jail for a minimum of 48 hours.
    • The convicted drunk driver must complete educational courses for substance abuse treatment.
  • Two Convictions: Considered an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by jail time up to two years and $1,875 to $6,250 in fines.
    • The drunk driver must be confined in jail for a minimum of seven days.
    • The drunk driver must complete educational courses for substance abuse treatment.
  • Three or More Convictions: Considered a Class D felony punishable by jail time up to five years and $3,125 to $9,375 in fines.
    • The drunk driver must be confined in jail for a minimum of 30 days.
    • The drunk driver must complete educational courses for substance abuse treatment.

Do You Need Legal Help from a Seasoned Criminal Defense Lawyer?

If you are facing charges for DUI/OWI or other criminal offenses, it can be extremely useful to seek legal counsel from a seasoned criminal defense lawyer.  Based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Law Office of Raphael M. Scheetz has long-standing experience handling a variety of criminal defense cases, including DUI/OWI. If you need legal help, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.