Like with other states, Iowa law prohibits individuals with blood alcohol concentrations above 0.08% from driving. Upon conviction, operating a vehicle while intoxicated may lead to many legal penalties. If you have a second OWI conviction, though, you are likely to face additional consequences.
Before examining the penalties for a second OWI conviction, it is important to review the consequences of a first one.
First-time OWI penalties
In Iowa, those with first-time OWI convictions face both criminal and administrative penalties. From the criminal perspective, an initial OWI conviction is typically a misdemeanor.
Upon conviction, you may spend between 48 hours and one year behind bars. You can also expect to pay a steep fine.
Administratively, you are likely to lose your driving privileges for between 180 days and one year.
Second-time OWI penalties
Naturally, the penalties for a second-time OWI conviction are more severe than for a primary one. After all, in the Hawkeye State, a second OWI offense is usually an aggravated misdemeanor.
Following a conviction for a second OWI offense, you may go to jail for between seven days and two years. The fine for a second-time OWI conviction is considerably higher than it is for an initial one, perhaps costing you as much as $6,250.
State officials may also revoke your driver’s license for up to two years.
Whether you have one OWI conviction or two, you may encounter some related consequences from having a criminal record. For example, among other consequences, you may have trouble landing a job, renting a home or adopting a child.
The best time to avoid the penalties and consequences of an OWI conviction is before it happens. Ultimately, closely reviewing both the facts of your arrest and the law may help you find a valid defense.