Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) is a serious offense in Iowa – and most people know better than to take a chance on drinking and driving.
Unfortunately, you don’t actually have to be on your way home from a bar to end up facing charges. A significant portion of people vastly underestimate the “staying power” of the alcohol in their systems. As a result, they can end up with a “day after” OWI charge.
Your BAC declines at a steady rate
Everybody responds differently when they consume alcohol, so you can be intoxicated without actually feeling impaired. However, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) falls at a steady rate, which is about 0.015% per hour.
If you fall into bed at 2 a.m. after a night of partying and your BAC is 0.20% (more than twice the legal limit to be driving), your BAC would still be .11% by the time you get up at 8 a.m. to drive to work in the morning. Even if you no longer feel intoxicated, a single traffic mistake could cause a police officer to pull you over and, ultimately, lead to charges.
It’s really easy to overindulge during the holiday season, and that can make it harder to avoid getting into trouble with the law. In Iowa, an OWI conviction automatically leads to significant fines and at least 48 hours in jail. The collateral consequences of a conviction can also be severe, as it can affect your insurance costs, your employment and your personal relationships. That makes it particularly important to fight the charges with every legal means at your disposal.