Cost of an OWI Conviction In Iowa

One word can describe the cost of an OWI conviction in the State of Iowa: "Expensive"

Operating While Intoxicated convictions in Iowa have the single highest mandatory minimum financial obligations of any crime in the State. Simply put, they are a cash cow for the State of Iowa with a significant portion of the fines generated going to fund the Judicial Branch budget. See prior post, A Troubling Trend.

The financial consequences of a First Offense, OWI conviction in Iowa, not including attorney fees area as follows:

Criminal Court Imposed Financial Obligations

$1,250.00 Fine
$437.50 Surcharge on fine (35%)
$325.00 Probation fee (varies from county to county)
$125.00 Substance abuse evaluation
$325.00 OWI 48 hour weekend program (county dependent) Minimum $125 for 12 hour course.
$10.00 D.A.R.E. Surcharge
$100.00 Court Costs (if only charge filed is OWI)

DOT Imposed Financial Obligations

$200.00 Civil penalty to obtain Restricted License or to reinstate

DOT also requires the substance abuse evaluation and a minimum 12 hour drinking drivers course ($125) which are often taken care of with the court imposed requirements.

$2,772.50 Total

This does not include the increased cost for SR 22 Insurance that is required for an additional two years nor does it include the $60/month (approximate) cost for an ignition interlock device. Obviously these costs go up considerably with Second and Third Offenses since the mandatory minimum fines also increase dramatically.

Finally, attorneys fees for a 1st Offense can range anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000, depending upon the experience, abilities, reputation of the attorney and the location of the jurisdiction where the offense is charged. It is imperative to consult with a qualified and knowledgeable attorney about all of your rights and all of the potential consequences that can accompany an OWI conviction before it is too late. Once a conviction is entered it remains on your record for ever because Iowa does not permit expungement of criminal convictions other than public intoxication.