Drunk driving can have life altering consequences.Obviously no one should ever drink and drive, but sometimes good people make honest mistakes. When facing the serious consequences of an OWI conviction, you need attorneys who will zealously assert and defend your rights.
You are considered legally intoxicated if you have a blood alcohol concentration of greater than .08 (.04 if you have a CDL; .02 if under 21). Being charged with an OWI can have serious consequences including losing your of license, paying increased car insurance premiums, and being forced to install ignition interlock device. These penalties are in addition to facing a fine of $ 1,250.00, and up to a year in jail for a first offense. The penalties increase in severity for additional drunk driving offenses.
After an arrest for OWI, you have 10 days to file an appeal and request a hearing with the Department of Transportation. Contact us immediately so we can help you protect your driving privileges.
If you are pulled over on suspicion of OWI you must be aware that you have rights, and it is important that you assert those rights.
1. You do not have to make any statements to police. This includes answering the question, “have you been drinking tonight.” Any statements you make can, and will be used against you in later court proceedings. You do not need to answer, and you should assert your right to remain silent.
2. You do not have to agree to perform any field sobriety tests. Whether you pass a field sobriety test is based on the opinion of the police officer. Refusing these tests has no impact on your driving privileges.
3. You do not need to agree to submit to a preliminary breath test. The results of this test are inadmissible in court because they are inaccurate. This is only used to establish probable cause to arrest you. See Iowa Code 321J.5.
4. You have a right to consult an attorney. Under Iowa law, once you are at the police station you have a right to contact an attorney or family member. You must request to speak with an attorney to invoke this right. While the right to consult with an attorney is available to you, you must exercise it promptly so as to not interfere with the officer’s 2 hour window to get a test sample from you.
DATAMASTER BREATH TEST
Once you are at the police station, you will be asked to submit to a datamaster test. The results of this test is admissible as long as it was administered properly. If you refuse to take the test, your license will be suspended for 1 year. If you take the test and fail, you lose your license for six months, and have given the state the evidence they need to convict you.
Whether or not to submit to the test is a difficult question to answer, because it depends on how the stop was conducted. A test failure makes a guilty verdict probable, a refusal makes a guilty verdict more difficult. It is important to assert your rights and contact an attorney prior to making this decision, especially if you were involved in an accident that resulted in an injury or death.
If all of this seems like too much to remember, contact us today for a copy of our Rights Card. Our attorneys also conduct seminars to help educate you on what your rights are under the law. If you are interested in Ofenbakh Law Firm’s Know Your Rights Iowa Seminar, contact us today.
Educate yourself and assert your rights, so we can protect them. Contact us immediately if you are facing OWI charges.