Iowa Ambien DUI Lawyers
Charges for driving under the influence of Ambien in Iowa can have wide ranging effects on your life. While this article provides overview information on DUI Ambien, there is no substitute for consulting with qualified legal representation. If you or a relative has been arrested for Ambien OWI, you contact our experienced Des Moines Iowa Ambien OWI lawyers who has handled such cases in your county of arrest.
Iowa OWI Ambien Overview
When someone thinks of driving under the influence (DUI), images of alcohol, breathalyzers, checkpoints and open containers come to mind. Even though alcohol is the most common cause of DUI, most states take a broader view of what it means to be under the influence. Increasingly, people are be arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, both illegal and prescription. The insomnia treatment drug Ambien (Zolpidem) has increasingly lead to more OWI arrests throughout Iowa.
How Do Police Detect Ambien for a DUI Charge?
Police officers use field sobriety tests (known as SFSTs) to determine whether driving impairment might exist. These are the tests where police officers ask the driver to walk a straight line or tilt their head back and touch their nose. If field administered breathalyser shows no signs of alcohol but the driver fails the field sobriety test, then police officers might believe the driver is under the influence of another substance. From there, the driver’s blood can be tested for the presence of other substances. Most states penalize drivers with a one-year license suspension for refusing the blood test. The drug screening, typically administered by a hospital, can detect the presence of Ambien, Lunesta and other prescription medications.
Iowa Ambien OWI Charges & “Sleep Driving”
The FDA ordered drug companies to place warnings on the bottle and instructions of the possibility of the sleep driving effect. Sleep driving is similar to the act of sleep walking where the person may take common actions out of habit in an induced type of hypnotic state. Ambien, as well as Lunesta, are classified by the FDA as a sedative-hypnotic product and falls under the FDA’s definition of sleep driving. The warning on the bottle is important because it demonstrates the FDA recognizes sleep driving as an involuntary side effect of the medication.
Using the “Involuntary Act” Defense for Ambien DUI
Court cases in several states are considering an “involuntary act” defense for OWI Ambien. The reasoning goes, that in order to be guilty of a DUI, a person’s actions must have been under their control. If they are determined to be involuntary, meaning you didn’t know what they were doing, then the defendant should go free. However, this type of defense is not a catch-all excuse to defend all DUI charges. Typically, the driver must have taken Ambien as prescribed by the doctor. Exceeding the normal dose, combining with other drugs or alcohol and using the medication prior to any other activity than sleeping can negate the “involuntary act” defense. The success of this type of defense remains to be seen. To see whether it might be applicable in a particular case, one should consult an experienced attorney in their local area.
Why You Need An Iowa Ambien OWI Attorney
Any DUI charge is a serious offense and can result in the loss of driving privileges with jail time for repeat offenses. The jail time varies from state to state. However, the charge can affect job opportunities and carry a very heavy stigma. As Ambien OWI’s and Lunesta OWI’s are relatively new offenses, it can be very advantageous to hire a defense attorney who may be able to assemble the appropriate defense to lessen the charges or get the case dismissed entirely. It depends on the exact circumstances of the case, so those who have been charged with OWI due to Ambien or Lunesta you should seek legal representation in the form of our Iowa Ambien OWI lawyers immediately.
Iowa OWI Laws & Statutes
Not many people know that drinking alcohol cuts your night vision in half and reduces your peripheral vision by up to one-third. And although they might make you feel good, barbiturates and other illegal drugs―and even many legal ones―actually substantially decrease your reaction time and mental alertness.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol, prescribed medications or illegal drugs can be very risky.
A DUI, often referred to as OWI in Iowa (which means operating while under the influence) endangers your own safety as well as the lives of those around you. If you are arrested for operating a motor vehicle while drugged or intoxicated, you may be charged with an OWI.
According to Iowa OWI law, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol or street drugs. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is tested and found to be 0.08% or more, you will be arrested. For those under 21 years old the limit is 0.02%.
Sometimes Iowa residents refer to an OWI conviction as a DUI (driving under the influence) or a DWI (driving while intoxicated). While the terms may be different, they are the same offense under the law.
Iowa Implied Consent Law
Iowa is one of many states that have an implied consent law. This means that you must submit to a blood, breath, or urine test if a law enforcement officer believes you have been drinking and driving.
If you refuse, your license will be taken away immediately for 1 year for your 1st violation and 2 years for any subsequent violations. You will also need to attend a drunk-driver course and be evaluated and possibly treated for substance abuse.
Consequences for Failing a Chemical Test
It’s pretty bad news to fail a chemical test. The combination of loss of driving privileges, required counseling, and other penalties affects every facet of your life. In addition to what you may face with criminal OWI charges, if you fail a chemical test you will have your license suspended by Department of Transportation. This is known as an Administrative license suspension. If you fail a chemical test:
1st offense: You will lose your license for 180 days. You are also subject to criminal penalties and fines if convicted of a OWI.
2nd offense: If it is your 2nd offense within 12 years, you will lose your license for 1 year. You may also face additional criminal penalties and fines if convicted.
3rd offense: A 3rd offense within a 12 years will result in revocation of your license for 6 years, in addition to criminal penalties if convicted of an OWI.
Iowa Juvenile OWI Laws
1st offense: You will lose your license for 60 days.
2nd and subsequent offenses: You will lose your license for 90 days.
No one under 18 years old is permitted to apply for a temporary restricted license.
In addition to losing your driving privileges, you will also need to complete a course for drinking drivers and undergo a substance abuse evaluation or treatment program―whether this is your third offense or your first. Iowa law requires that you pay for these services at your own expense. You’ll also be hit with a $200 civil penalty.
If you are caught driving while your license is revoked(whether it was a criminal revocation or Administrative suspension), you’ll be charged with another misdemeanor and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
If you are a new Iowa resident, it’s important to realize that OWI convictions in other states will count against you when the DOT considers what action to take regarding your license.
Iowa Ignition Interlock Device Program
In some cases those who fail a chemical test and have their licenses suspended can apply for a temporary restricted license. In order to receive a temporary restricted license you will be required to have a Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed on your vehicle. Only companies approved by the Division of Criminal Investigation can be used to install and maintain your IID.
Getting Your License Back
Before you even apply to have your driver’s license reinstated, you must fulfill all the requirements of the Administrative suspension. This includes:
- Completion of a substance abuse evaluation and treatment or rehabilitation services.
- Completion of the course for drinking drivers (This course is 12 hours and costs a minimum of $115).
- Ignition Interlock Device requirements (If applicable).
- Paying the $200 civil penalty.
If required you’ll need to show proof of your financial responsibility by filing an insurance SR-22 form with the Office of Driver Services. You’ll also need to take the knowledge test, driving exam, and vision screening to be issued a new Iowa driver’s license.
An OWI license revocation will remain on your driving record for 12 years. In addition to resulting in increased auto insurance premiums, this may also disqualify you from certain types of employment.
Our Iowa Ambien DUI lawyers handle all types of DUI and or OWI cases throughout all Iowa counties, Iowa county seats, suburban, urban and rural areas.
This includes: Adair, Adams, Allamakee, Appanoose, Audubon, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Buchanan, Buena Vista, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Clarke, Clay, Clayton, Clinton, Crawford, Dallas, Davis, Decatur, Delaware, Des Moines, Dickinson, Dubuque, Emmet, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Fremont, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Henry, Howard, Humboldt, Ida, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Kossuth, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Lucas, Lyon, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Mills, Mitchell, Monona, Monroe, Montgomery, Muscatine, O’Brien, Osceola, Page, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Polk, Pottawattamie, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Sac, Scott, Shelby, Sioux, Story, Tama, Taylor, Union, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Winnebago, Winneshiek, Woodbury, Worth, Wright
Our Iowa Ambien DUI lawyers also serve those facing DUI charges in all Iowa coties, towns, county seats and rural areas:Greenfield, Corning, Waukon, Centerville, Audubon, Vinton, Waterloo, Boone, Waverly, Independence, Storm Lake, Allison, Rockwell City, Carroll, Atlantic, Tipton, Mason City, Cherokee, New Hampton, Osceola, Spencer, Elkader, Clinton, Denison, Adel, Bloomfield, Leon, Manchester, Burlington, Spirit Lake, Dubuque, Estherville, West Union, Charles City, Hampton, Sidney, Jefferson, Grundy, Guthrie, Webster City, Garner, Eldora, Logan, Mount Pleasant, Cresco, Dakota City, Ida Grove, Marengo, Maquoketa, Newton, Fairfield, Iowa City, Anamosa, Sigourney, Algona, Fort Madison and Keokuk, Cedar Rapids, Wapello, Chariton, Rock Rapids, Winterset, Oskaloosa, Knoxville, Marshalltown, Glendwood, Osage, Onawa, Albia, Red Oak, Muscatine, Primghar, Sibley, Clarinda, Emmetsburg, Le Mars, Pocahontas, Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Montezuma, Mount Ayr, Sac City, Davenport, Harlan, Orange City, Nevada, Toledo, Bedford, Creston, Keosauqua, Ottumwa, Indianola, Washington, Corydon, Fort Dodge, Forest City, Decorah, Sioux City, Northwood and Clarion, Iowa.