Arresting Implication: Iowa No Refusal OWI Laws

Iowa BAC lawsFor a young driver, getting an Iowa driver’s license is exciting. Finally, you are legally certified to get on the road! With this freedom, of course, comes responsibility. Perhaps you weren’t aware, but when you first get your license, you agreed to Iowa’s no refusal, implied consent and OWI laws.

What is implied consent in Iowa? What are these no refusal OWI laws? Let’s break it down.

Implied Consent:

In Iowa, you don’t need to explicitly say “I consent” to an officer when asked to do something. It is assumed that you will just do it.

  • When you first got your license, you consented or gave your permission to comply with Iowa police officers if you happen to be pulled over.
  • This includes consenting to take a breathalyzer test to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

No Refusal Laws:

  • If you are pulled over by a police officer who asks for you submit to a breathalyzer test, you need to comply. Otherwise, you are subject to being charged with:
    • One year in jail.
    • License restriction.
    • Having to use an ignition interlock device (IID) for 90 days.
    • To reinstate your license after it has been restricted, you will need to pay a fine of $200.
    • You will most likely be arrested and then charged with an OWI (operating with intoxicated) charge, as your refusal can be seen as probable cause to arrest you.

For a complete list of Iowa OWI laws, check out their official guide to driving offenses and punishments here.

You agreed to the BAC testing when you first signed up for your license. Refusing a breathalyzer or other chemical test won’t get you out of an OWI charge, and will additionally most likely end up serving as probable cause to arrest you. Plus, you will have administrative penalties on top of your criminal charges.

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