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OWI (DUI) defenses in Iowa

by David Cmelik


There are but few defenses to drunk driving in the State of Iowa. The intoxication that can negate the specific intent requirement of more complex offenses is itself an element of the offense of operating under the influence here.

That makes sense, of course. Other than intoxication, the prosecution must prove that the defendant operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. To assail a drunk driving prosecution in Iowa a competent OWI (DUI) attorney must scrutinize (1) the reason for the initial law enforcement interaction with police; (2) the training, experience, and observations of the officer; (3) the administration and documentation of field sobriety tests and whether further “reasonable grounds” exist to invoke “implied consent”; (3) the administration of the implied consent advisory; (4) the administration, timing, and maintenance of the datamaster test and equpiment and the fulfillment of Defendant’s statutory and constitutional rights to remain silent and to contact an attorney or family member. An attorney will examine the officer’s application of so-called alcohol intoxication and drug recognition expertise (DRE) and rule in or out a potential for a prescription drug defense—if a validly prescribed drug used consistently with a doctor’s orders is in play. If you or a loved one has been arrested for operating while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both in the State of Iowa, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC for a free 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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