Protecting Your Rights Throughout Eastern Iowa Since 1981

Driving with an OWI suspended or revoked license can lead to more trouble

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2023 | Drunk Driving

There are two ways for a driver to get their license revoked in Iowa. They either fail a chemical test supervised by a police officer for suspected operating while intoxicated (OWI) or refuse to take the test. Whether a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level hits at least 0.08% or they refuse, the state’s Department of Transportation (DOT) automatically revokes their license.

While the driver faces a criminal case for their OWI, they’ll also have to contend with a civil case involving their revoked license. The results of one case don’t affect the other, so there might be situations where a driver resolves their OWI case but their license remains revoked.

But drivers who think an OWI conviction is behind them and try to drive while their license is revoked could face penalties if caught.

Strict rules for those with restrained driving privileges

Under Iowa law, it’s illegal for drivers whose licenses were suspended or revoked due to an OWI conviction to operate a motor vehicle. Those who violate the law face a serious misdemeanor charge with a maximum penalty of one year’s imprisonment and $1,000 in fines on conviction. A court may also order drivers to pay additional surcharges and fees.

In addition to the penalties above, the DOT will also double the length of the original license revocation or suspension period. The arresting officer may also impound the driver’s vehicle.

Drivers with suspended or revoked licenses from an OWI conviction shouldn’t put their driving privileges into more trouble. Sentences for OWIs don’t finish overnight, so motorists should calmly consider their legal options.