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OWI (DUI) in Iowa: What is drunk driving charge here? 

by David Cmelik


What is a drunk driving charge in Iowa?   Operating while intoxicated (OWI) is Iowa’s version of a drunk driving or DUI offense. It is defined as follows:   A person commits the offense of operating while intoxicated if the person operates a motor vehicle in this state in any of the following conditions: (a) while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or other drug or a combination of such substances; (b) while having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more; or (b) while any amount of a controlled substance is present in the person, as measured in the person's blood or urine.   Note that any amount of an illicit controlled substance is actionable under the statute; however, a prescription drug defense is available if a defendant is using a legal drug in accordance with a valid prescription and in the absence of alcohol.   Operating a motor vehicle does not necessarily mean operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway. A drunk driver can be charged in his/her own driveway or in a grocery store parking lot. The definition does not include public roadway.   Moreover, operation does not require movement. And circumstantial evidence has been used successfully to show operation. For example, the engine is warm and the car is parked on the shoulder while the apparent driver is asleep behind the wheel.   If you or a loved one has been charged with an OWI (DUI) in the State of Iowa and you are looking for a lawyer to handle a drunk driving charge, please feel free to call David A. Cmelik Law PLC at 319-389-1889 for a free initial consultation.   A blog is not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading a blog or by sending unsolicited information to an attorney over the Internet.  

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