cedar rapids / iowa city criminal defense

1450 Boyson Road Suite C-2A Hiawatha, Iowa 52233     319-389-1889

Source: 2006 NHTSA DWI Detection 

Model jury instructions in Iowa allow juries to determine impairment with the testimony of officers, by comparing such testimony to “excited emotions” or loss of judgment or reason. Another instruction allows juries to consider a refusal of the Datamaster DMT in their deliberations although they are not required to do so. 

If you or a loved one has been arrested for OWI (commonly called DUI or DWI in States other than Iowa) in Cedar Rapids or other Iowa communities, please do not hesitate to contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC at 319-389-1889 or www.daclawfirm.com for a free initial consultation.

However, remember that a blog is not legal advice and that sending unsolicited information to an attorney over the Internet does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


Just a Couple Drinks: Why everyone's roadside answer may not be a fib. 

by David Cmelik

​​Ethanol is a many splendored thing. As country music will tell us, it has been responsible for many births, marriages, a great time on the water, and a forgotten college career. But all kidding aside, alcohol is actually digested differently than, say, soft drinks, like coffee or soda.

And in this, law enforcement has justified some rough scientific calculations. At the roadside, after a police officer has seized a motorist either for a fictitious reason because he or she believes the driver intoxicated, getting face to face to quiz the driver about how much they have had to drink is a key part of interaction, along with observations about odor and appearance. 

The favorite answer for motorists is usually the truth—just a couple drinks, officer. And I believe most people are being honest about that. Because it is so easy to cross the per se level of intoxication of .08 grams of ethanol per 210 L breath in Iowa, it actually just takes four ounces of ethanol, contained in just four 12 ounce beers, four shots, or four mixed drinks, on average, to reach the legal limit in a single hour. Because the rough science tells us that the body immediately absorbs ethanol through the wall of the stomach but metabolizes it much more slowly—about .02 grams ethanol per 210 L breath per hour—the decision to consent or refuse to a preliminary breath test and, later, the Datamaster DMT test later at the Linn County Jail in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, or at the Marion Police Department, is a very personal one.

Providing per se, or nearly irrefutable evidence of intoxication, with a bodily sample otherwise unwarranted makes an OWI prosecution slightly easier but refusal does not make it impossible.