Just Say No Don't Blow - Iowa 2nd Offense OWI's

posted by on Thursday, May 29, 2008

On a second offense operating while intoxicated (owi/dui/oui) case in the State of Iowa there is absolutely no reason to submit to a breath test if there is a chance you will be over .08.

The implied consent advisory read to an individual that has a prior offense for OWI advises them that if they consent to taking a breath test and "fail" by providing a breath sample indicating an alcohol concentration in excess of .08 they lose their driving privileges for 1 year. If they refuse to provide a breath test, their driving privileges are suspended for 2 years. What the advisory does not tell the individual is that the work permit eligibility and DOT and legislatively imposed sanctions for a second offense make the license suspension periods pretty much the same regardless of whether the person blows or not.

If the person "fails" the test, they provide evidence that is presumed to be their alcohol concentration at the time they were driving and their license is suspended for an entire year without the possibility of a work permit, temporary restricted license, or hardship license. This is a hard suspension where the person is hitching rides to and from work or riding their bike. What many people do now know until it is too late is that even after the one year hard suspension is up and they are eligible to have their full license reinstated, Iowa law requires them to install an ignition interlock device for another full year in order to have their license reinstated.

If the person were to refuse testing, the state is without it's most powerful evidence and must actually prove that the individual was "under the influence of alcohol" at the time the vehicle was being operated. Driving privileges are suspended for two years but after a year of a hard suspension the individual is eligible for a temporary restricted licence so long as an ignition interlock device is installed.

The only logical conclusion when the truth is revealed is that there is no reason to take a breath test on a 2nd Offense OWI in the State of Iowa. Just say no . . . don't blow! This is another classic example of how hidden or unknown consequences result in an inaccurate and misleading implied consent advisory designed to coerce people into providing evidence against themselves in operating while intoxicated cases.