We all know that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a bad idea. The danger you pose to yourself and others on the road should be more than enough to make you think twice before getting behind the wheel. However, while most people think of the danger, many don’t realize the numerous other problems that can occur even if they or someone else is NOT harmed by their drunken driving.


The costs incurred from a 1st Offense Operating While Impaired (OWI as it is known in Iowa) or DUI go far beyond just the fine. Take a look at this estimated breakdown of how much an OWI could cost you in Iowa:

Criminal Fine$ 1,250
Fine Surcharge (35% of criminal fine)$ 437
D.A.R.E. Surcharge$ 10
Court Costs$ 100
Weekend Program indiaviagra.net/$ 335
Drinking Driver School$ 115
Alcohol Evaluation$ 125
Intoxalock Device (if BAC is over .1 mg/dl)$ 432
2 years High Risk Insurance (in addition to auto insurance)$ 600
License Reinstatement Fees$ 200
Probation Fee$ 300
Estimated Minimum Fines & Fees$ 3,904


The minimum suspension for 1st Offense OWI is 6 months and it can be up to one year if the test is refused. In order to get your license back you will have to pay the reinstatement charge, complete an alcohol evaluation, and attend drinking driver school. In addition, if the alcohol evaluation recommends further treatment, you will need to complete treatment before the DOT will allow your license to be reinstated.

These costs are just the beginning. You could also be required to pay the officer’s cost of responding, restitution if you damaged someone else’s property, costs if your car is towed, fines for other criminal charges, or fees if you spend time in jail. If you bond out, you will have to pay a bondsman. The bond is $1,000.00 for a first offense OWI in Iowa. If you reside in Nebraska or another state and get an OWI in Iowa, your state’s DOT can also take action against your driving privileges in your home state.

The cost to hire a lawyer will also vary. You can expect to pay anywhere from $1000 – $5000 up front to hire an attorney. The outcome of your case and your final costs will depend on the attorney’s competence and experience. Your attorney can also help you to determine how a conviction will affect your job, immigration status or any professional licenses you may have. The penalties are more severe if you have had prior offenses or if you have a CDL. There are things that can be done to alleviate some of the above penalties by a competent attorney. It’s important to understand that once you’ve been convicted it will be difficult, if not impossible, to get the conviction reversed.

As you can see, the cost of an OWI goes far beyond what most people realize, even if there is not an injury or accident. Please think twice before getting behind the wheel if you are under the influence. If you do get pulled over for OWI, be sure to consult with an attorney in Council Bluffs (OWI) or an attorney in Omaha (DUI) prior to making a decision that could adversely affect you for years to come.


Mark Rater is an attorney at Rater Law Office in Council Bluffs, Iowa. His primary areas of practice are personal injury, accidents, criminal, OWI/DUI and probate. Mark has extensive experience in civil and criminal jury trials and trials to the court. A graduate of Creighton University School of Law, Mark is licensed to practice in both Iowa and Nebraska and has served the residents of Council Bluffs, Omaha and the surrounding communities for over 25 years. In his free time Mark enjoys spending time with his family, golfing, and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes.