Will I Have to Get an Ignition Interlock For a DUI in Iowa?

Information on the Ignition Interlock Device in the Hawkeye State of IA

DUI, OWI, and IA Ignition Interlock laws are the same in every city across the state of Iowa including Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, and Ames. Drivers operating a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more will be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). Additionally, those under 21 years of age who are driving with a BAC of 0.02 percent or more and commercial drivers driving with a BAC of 0.04 percent or more will also be charged. The penalties for being convicted of DUI are many and may include having to use an Ignition Interlock Device (IID).

Ignition Interlock For a DUI in IowaGovernment research has been conducted to determine the effects of drinking on an individual’s ability to drive to help determine the threshold for making driving illegal, which would lead to a drinking and driving charge. These studies found that a BAC of 0.05 percent is enough to impair most individuals’ ability to drive. However, a BAC percentage of 0.08 percent is enough to impair all individuals, which is why this threshold has been adopted by almost all states, including IA. There are certain defense strategies which can help to avoid an Ignition Interlock device requirement in Iowa, when an OWI arrest can be examined in enough time to successfully fight the charges.

What Are the Ignition Interlock Penalties for Driving Under the Influence and OWI Charges in Iowa?

Should a driver be convicted of even a first DUI or OWI charge, they face a number of different penalties, which will include having to get an install an car Breathalyzer Ignition Interlock device. These DUI and OWI penalties are meant as a means to discourage drinking and driving behavior in offenders and to discourage other individuals as well. First time DUI and OWI offenders in the state of Iowa face the following penalties, which include:

  1. Serving a Jail Sentence of Between 48 Hours and One Year
  2. Paying Fines and Penalties of between $625 and $1,200
  3. Getting an IA Driver’s License Suspension of 180 Days
  4. Having to Install an Ignition Interlock if the Offender’s BAC was Above 0.10 Percent

Repeat or second DUI/OWI offenders, or those with a previous DUI conviction within the last 12 years, are considered second time offenders. Second time offenders in the state of Iowa face harsher penalties including:

  1. Serving a Jail Sentence of Between Seven Days and Two Years
  2. Paying Fines and Penalties of between $1,875 and $6,250
  3. Having a Driver’s License Suspended for Two Years
  4. Having to Install and Pay for the Cost of an Ignition Interlock Device

Repeat DUI offenders with two previous offenses within the last 12 years face the harshest penalties. Third time DUI and OWI offenders in the state of Iowa face penalties that include:

  1. Serving a Jail Sentence of Between 30 Days and Five Years
  2. Paying Fines and Penalties of between $3,125 and $9,375
  3. A Driver’s License Suspension Time Period of 5 Years.
  4. Having to Use and Pay for all the Costs of Having an Ignition Interlock for 3 Years or More

In addition to the penalties listed above, the court may order one or more of the following penalties:

  • Vehicle Impoundment
  • Substance Abuse Evaluation
  • Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Attendance to a Drinking Drivers Course
  • Substance Abuse Reality Program
  • Community Service
  • Attendance to a Program for Supervision/Treatment of OWI (Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated) Violators

Implied Consent Law in Iowa

The state of Iowa enforces what is called an “implied consent law” for DUI and OWI arrests, which means those with a driver’s license in IA automatically consent to having urine, blood, or Breathalyzer testing done in order to determine their BAC. Should drivers refuse to take a chemical DUI or OWI test, they have to pay a fine and are subject to an automatic license suspension – first time offenders for one year and second and third time offenders a period of two years.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device and How Does it Work?

An Ignition Interlock device, also called a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID), is a Breathalyzer device used for an driver’s car. This device requires individuals to blow into the mouthpiece before they can start the vehicle. The interlock device analyzes the individual’s breath in order to determine BAC – should the individual’s BAC be above the predetermined level (usually 0.04 percent), the IID prevents the vehicle from starting.
The car Breathalyzer Ignition Interlock interrupts the signal between the vehicle’s ignition and starter until an acceptable breath sample is provided. Once an acceptable sample, or one falling below the predetermined BAC, is provided, the vehicle can start. The purpose of OWI offenders using an Ignition Interlock device is to prevent them from drinking and driving. Additionally, some Iowa DUI interlock devices will require random spot testing while offenders are already driving – this is meant to prevent individuals other than the offender from blowing into the device.

When is Using an Ignition Interlock Device Required in the State of Iowa?

In some cases, judges in the state of Iowa are authorized to order the use of an Ignition Interlock device for certain DUI and OWI offenders as a means to have their driving privileges reinstated, i.e. make their driver’s license valid. Under Iowa state law, the interlock can be installed and maintained as a condition of reinstatement of a driver’s license in the following situations:

  • A repeat offender or subsequent offender can be ordered to install an Ignition Interlock on any car they drive for one year, which does include requiring an interlock on any company car or vehicle used for work.
  • A driver arrested for DUI or OWI, but refused to take a Breathalyzer or blood test.

Who is Responsible for Paying for the Cost of an Ignition Interlock Device in Iowa?

When the installation and maintenance of an OWI Ignition Interlock is ordered in Iowa, offenders are almost always responsible for paying the expenses associated with the device. DUI and OWI Offenders ordered to use a car Breathalyzer interlock device should expect to pay around $100 for professional installation, although some companies install the device for free, and between $75 and $120 a month to lease the device. Individuals should keep in mind they may be responsible for paying for upkeep and maintenance of the Ignition Interlock device and these prices vary across the state.

What is the Process of Getting Installing an Ignition Interlock Device in Iowa?

When individuals are ordered to install and maintain an Ignition Interlock in Iowa, the court gives them a deadline to have the device put in. Individuals need to contact an approved IID provider for the state of IA to obtain the device – these providers can be found throughout the state, and a full list of approved providers is also on the Iowa DMV website. Additionally, they have to get the Ignition Interlock device professionally installed in order for it to be legal to drive.

Once the interlock device has been obtained and installed, offenders have to provide proof of completion to the court and/or their probation officer. In most cases, offenders need to show a copy of the lease agreement from the approved Ignition Interlock device provider as well as a receipt for the installation. Completing these steps to the court’s standards is very important for staying within the interlock guidelines and getting a driver’s license back after a DUI or OWI offense.

We understand how serious it is for the cost of the IA Ignition Interlock requirement penalties are, and we realize why some of the initial questions drivers arrested for a OWI or DUI charge in Iowa have is “will I have to get an Ignition Interlock device put on my car, and is my license going to get suspended?” After a IA Ignition Interlock lawyer reviews a person’s own arrest circumstances online with us, they can then be able let a person know of any possible ways and solutions for how to avoid having to get and install an Ignition Interlock device in:

[column col=”1/4″]Ackley
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[column col=”1/4″]Denison
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[column col=”1/4″]Pioneer
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