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What are the potential penalties for a first-time OWI in Iowa?

On Behalf of | Oct 31, 2022 | DUI/OWI

A drunk driving charge can have extensive consequences on your quality of life. You may have to face the legal penalties of a conviction and end up with a criminal record, which can affect you even in years to come.

In Iowa, operating while intoxicated (OWI) as a first-time offender is a serious misdemeanor with various administrative and legal penalties. Here are some of the likely implications if you are found guilty.

A license suspension

Your driver’s license will likely be suspended for operating while intoxicated. The default period is 180 days for a first offender. However, the suspension period may stretch for up to one year if you refuse to take a chemical test. Additionally, you will be required to install ignition interlock devices if you want a temporary restricted license after such a suspension.

Jail time

As mentioned, expect to face serious misdemeanor charges for your OWI. The potential jail term is a minimum of two days but not more than one year. The court may put you on probation with certain conditions as a first offender if you have no other run-ins with the law. 


You could face a fine of up to $1,250 on top of your jail term. However, the court can halve the amount if you present a temporary restricted license or if your OWI case did not result in personal injury or property damage.

Are you facing OWI charges?

It’s well advised to seek legal guidance as soon as possible if you are facing an OWI charge in Iowa. Whether you are a first-time offender or not, proper legal guidance is crucial when coming up with your defense. It will help you avoid doing anything that could work against you while protecting your rights and interests at every stage of your case.