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Iowa DUI Law

It is illegal in Iowa to operate a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration .08 or greater or while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.


First Offense:

The first offense is punished by a minimum of 48 hours in jail. The court will also fine you $1,250 or require the equivalent period of community service. Finally, the court will suspend your license for a minimum of 180 days and up to one year.

Second Offense:

The second offense is an aggravated misdemeanor. The minimum jail term is 7 days. The court will also impose a fine of $1,875 - $6,250.

Third and Subsequent Offenses:

Third and Subsequent Offenses are a Class D Felonies. These can be punished by up to 5 years in jail and a fine of $3,125 - $9,375. The mandatory minimum jail term is 30 days.

Substance Abuse Assessment

All offenders are required to undergo a substance abuse evaluation prior to sentencing.

Under 21

It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of .02 or greater if you are under the age of 21. The penalty for doing so is license revocation for:

Reality Education Substance Abuse Prevention Program

In certain Iowa jurisdictions courts may order defendants to complete this program. The defendant must abstain from alcohol for the duration of the program. The program may require attendance at programs at any of the following:

- A hospital or other emergency medical care facility to observe the treatment of victims of motor vehicle accidents involving intoxicated drivers

- Facility for the treatment of chemical substance abuse

- A morgue or similar facility to receive educational material regarding the damage caused by the consumption of drugs and/or alcohol.

License Revocation

First Offense: 180 days.

Subsequent Offenses:

One year.

Temporary Restricted Licenses

Upon issuing the restricted license, the court will order that an ignition interlock device be attached to your car. This device prevents the car from being operated while the driver has a BAC of .02 or greater.

This license will allow you to drive to and from employment, health care, school, substance abuse treatment, and court ordered community service.


- BAC .08 - .10, no accident caused: Immediate eligibility, no ignition interlock device required.

- BAC .10 - .15, no accident caused: Immediate eligibility, ignition interlock required.

- BAC .15 or greater: Eligible after 30 days, ignition interlock required.

- BAC .08 or greater and accident caused personal injury: Eligible after 30 days, ignition interlock required.

Refusal to Submit to Chemical Testing

If you refuse to submit to chemical testing of your blood, urine, or breath and the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that you are driving while intoxicated, the department of motor vehicles will revoke your license for one year. If you have a prior revocation for refusing to submit, the period is extended to two years.

License revocations for refusing to submit are not eligible for temporary restricted licenses for at least 90 days after the revocation. For the second offense, you will not be eligible for at least one year after revocation.