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Iowa City OWI Defense Blog

Effects of Different BAC results for an Iowa OWI

The result of a BAC test can have several different levels of consequences for an OWI suspect in Iowa.   These consequences will affect both the criminal side of the case, and the licensing/IDOT side of the case.

The criminal side is pretty easy to explain.  If the result exceeds 0.08, then the defendant will be presumed to be intoxicated.  At trial, the results of the other sobriety tests will not matter, nor will the officer’s opinion and field observations.  All that matters is that the state’s lawyer can prove the defendant was operating a motor vehicle, and that he provided the test result.

Also, if the result exceeds 0.15, then that defendant will not be eligible for a deferred judgment in the criminal court.  This is a statutory guideline, and there is nothing your lawyer can do to change this (provide the test was done correctly.)

If the result does not exceed 0.08 then the officer can only file charges if he believes the defendant is intoxicated nonetheless.

In a nutshell, exceeding 0.08 will sink your case, but not exceeding it does not definitely get you out of hot water.

Regarding the licensing side of this OWI matter, there are many different possible outcomes, based on the result.

If the result does not exceed 0.08, then no administrative license revocation can take effect.

If the result exceeds 0.08 but does not exceed 0.10, then the license (or out-of-state operating privileges) will be revoked for 180 days, following a 10-day grace period.  The driver is eligible for a work permit (TRL/temporary restricted license) immediately.

If the result exceeds 0.10 but does not exceed 0.15, then the same revocation and work permit timeline will be in place, but the driver must install an approved ignition interlock device in order to obtain the work permit.

Finally, if the result exceeds 0.15, then the same periods of revocation are in effect, but a 30-day waiting period must pass prior to the driver being eligible for a work permit.

Visit Iowa Criminal Lawyer Mark Thompson for more information.

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