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New legislation signed by governor regarding OWI charges

When someone is convicted of drunk driving in Iowa, there are a variety of potential penalties he or she may face. Depending on the number of offenses one has, the consequence may be a monetary fine or time in jail. However, a new law recently signed by the governor will impose a new penalty on those convicted of OWI charges for the first time.

The new legislation states that an ignition interlock must be installed on the vehicles of all first-time convicted drunk drivers. This installation is required for drivers to obtain a work permit or a temporary restricted license. With the passing of this law, Iowa is one of 32 states that stipulate the usage of the interlock.

In order for a vehicle with an interlock to start, the driver must blow into it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that such devices have reduced repeat offenses of drunk driving by 67 percent. In addition, interlocks have lowered the number of fatalities involving drunk drivers by 16 percent, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Mothers Against Drunk Driving published a report that claims interlocks have prevented over 350,000 drunk drivers from getting on the road in 2017.

These ignition interlocks are yet another potential consequence of a conviction of OWI charges in the state of Iowa. When someone is facing these charges, it is imperative to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to build an effective defense. A trusted lawyer will work to minimize the charges and the potential negative impact on a client's life.

Source:, "Governor signs Drunk Driving Reform Bill", April 14, 2018

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