First Offense DUI in Iowa

If you are convicted of a first-time DUI in Iowa, you will be subject to criminal and administrative penalties. Iowa utilizes a modified system of penalties to account for the blood alcohol content (BAC) of offenders at the time of arrest; however, these factors only influence administrative action, unless taken into consideration by the individual courts during sentencing.

Administrative Penalties

  • First DUI offense in Iowa results in administrative license suspension of one hundred and eighty (180) days. However, offenders are eligible for restricted reinstatement of license if BAC is less than .10. If BAC above .10, offender still eligible for restricted license, but must use ignition interlock device, and if BAC above .15, offender not eligible for restricted license for thirty (30) days
  • Refusals to submit under Iowa’s implied consent laws result in mandatory license revocation of one (1) year

Criminal Penalties

How Much Will it Cost?

To get an idea of how much a first offense DUI will cost you, see our article on the cost of a DUI.

  • First offense DUI in Iowa results in a mandatory minimum period of incarceration for two (2) days with the potential of incarceration set at not more than one (1) year
  • Fines range from not less than $625 to not more than $1250, but fine amount does not cover additional costs incurred during completion of sentence or during reinstatement, such as alcohol assessment, education, and others
  • Alcohol assessment/education programs likely required, with potential for mandatory attendance at driver safety programs as well
  • Convictions influence charges and sentencing in future DUI cases for remainder of offender’s life

Getting Legal

The state of Iowa does not expressly bar reduction of DUI charges into lesser criminal, or potentially non-criminal offenses, however, the ability to obtain this type of favorable plea option hinges on the case-specific nature of each arrest, as well as whether legal counsel is involved.  

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