Drunk driving can cause tons of different problems. There is the obvious danger to others on the road, as well to the driver, which is why those problems are considered so serious. As such, all 50 states have some type of implied consent laws that say a suspected drunk driver cannot refuse blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing. Iowa implied consent and no refusal laws address these specific problems, with strict consequences for any violations.
Iowa implied consent laws state that you do not need to explicitly consent to a BAC test officer when asked to do something. It is assumed that you will just do it. Plus, you actually signed your name in agreement with these laws when you first applied for your driver’s license. If you refuse BAC testing, those no refusal penalties and implied consent violation consequences kick in. Specifically, if you refuse BAC testing before or after an OWI arrest, you will face the following consequences:
- One year in jail.
- License suspension.
- 90-day ignition interlock device (IID) requirement.
- $200 fine to reinstate your license with the interlock restriction.
Why do Iowa implied consent laws matter?
BAC declines over time as the body metabolizes the alcohol we consume. Many people feel that by refusing a police breathalyzer or other chemical test, they can increase the time it takes before having to inevitably submit a BAC sample to law enforcement. Or, they think that by waiting, their BAC will fall below the .08 percent legal limit. However, in most cases, refusing the BAC test just creates more reason, or probable cause, for a drunk driving arrest. Plus, a .08 percent BAC reading is not the only factor that contributes to an OWI charge, so you can still be arrested for and convicted of drunk driving if your BAC is below the legal limit.