Iowa Ignition Interlock Laws

With over 13,000 DWI arrests and over 100 killed in alcohol related accidents in 2008, Iowa is no stranger to the problem that DWI offenses bring. Alcohol-impaired driving is an epidemic level problem in the United States, killing close to one person every 40 minutes. Despite continued efforts by enforcement, the judiciary, advocates and governmental agencies, nearly 13,000 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in 2007 (NHTSA 2008a).

Many DWI offenders involved in fatal alcohol-impaired-driving crashes have been arrested previously for driving while intoxicated (DWI). This is known as recidivism and in 2007, drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher in fatal crashes were eight times more likely to have a prior conviction for driving while impaired than were drivers with no alcohol (NHTSA, 2008a).

In response to these issues, legislatures across the country, including Iowa, have turned to making more stringent DUI laws, that outline more severe punishments for the most habitual of our DWI offenders. Law enforcement agencies like those in Iowa, are enforcing these laws religiously, as the message sent is very clear; Driving While Intoxicated in the state of Iowa is of the most serious offenses, and it will not be tolerated.

An Iowa DWI offender may be required to install ignition interlock devices on the vehicles they own, it is largely at the discretion of the courts who may required IIDs for extenuating circumstances. A second or subsequent DWI offender, after the mandatory license revocation period, can only be granted restricted driving privileges after they install ignition interlock devices on all of the vehicles they own.

Prior to reinstating the driving privileges to a second or subsequent offender, the State shall require such person to install ignition interlock devices on all of the vehicles they own for 1 year.

Iowa is an implied consent state. That means that anyone driving their vehicle is expected to submit to a drug or alcohol test when an officer of the law believes they may be inebriated. States with implied consent laws treat individuals who refuse to take the tests as if they were guilty of driving while intoxicated. Individuals who refuse a test will have their license revoked and a person must install an ignition interlock system on the vehicle(s) they operate as a condition for obtaining a restricted license.

When an Iowa DWI offender installs an ignition interlock device on his or her vehicle, they are able to retain their legal driving status as a provisional driver. This enables them to maintain employment, attend school, complete substance abuse treatment and take care of their responsibilities while adhering to the requirements of the Iowa DUI courts. This is particularly important in rural areas where offend­ers may not have access to public transportation alternatives.

Smart Start of Iowa is an approved renter and installer of Ignition Interlock Devices in the sate. Whether you are in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids or Davenport we have installation centers near you ready to help you navigate the many requirements of DWI courts and Motor Vehicle Departments. Call us today at 800-880-3394 or fill out our online appointment form to discuss your requirements and things like costs and logistics and we can help get you on the road in no time! Smart Start of Iowa are here to help you get your life back on track, call us today!

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