Iowa Car Insurance with a DUI

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Kristine Lee

Insurance Analyst

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty
  • 4+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

If you're cited for DUI in Iowa, your car insurance rates are bound to rise: it's just a question of how much extra you'll pay. However, by shopping carefully and comparing rates, you can mitigate the costs of car insurance after a driving under the influence citation.

How to find cheap auto insurance in Iowa after a DUI

Finding cheap auto insurance after a DUI conviction isn’t straightforward. In fact, a DUI usually leads to a greater rate hike than any other driving violation — more than racing, reckless driving, or an at-fault accident.

The most affordable car insurance with a DUI in Iowa

If you are convicted of a DWI or DUI offense in Iowa, it’s critical to assess all possible insurance options with care. Car insurance prices after a DUI often deviate widely by company. For instance, the least expensive car insurance company after a DUI in Iowa, State Farm, offers annual rates 44% more affordable than the statewide average insurance price after a DUI. The second-cheapest option for car insurance after a DUI in Iowa is American Family, while the priciest insurer is Grinnell, with premiums 56% above average.

Insurance Company Avg. Annual Rate — After DUI
State Farm $964
American Family $1,305
Progressive $1,359
GEICO $1,796
IMT Insurance $1,804
Iowa Farm Bureau $2,045
Nationwide $2,218

The best way to save if you receive a DUI citation is to compare rates carefully.

Compare car insurance quotes online or reach out to an insurance agent to assess the choices and discover a sensible plan.

How does a DUI impact car insurance rates in Iowa?

In Iowa, a DUI can raise your annual car insurance premium by an average of $621. That’s 77% less than the national average premium hike after a DUI.

Area Avg. Annual Rate — no DUI Avg. Annual Rate — with DUI Avg. Increase After DUI
Iowa $1,106 $1,727 +56%
National Average $1,548 $2,556 +65%

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Iowa DUI rules

Iowa considers drivers to be DUI — or OWI (operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated or drugged) — when their blood alcohol concentration is measured at 0.08% or higher. Commercial drivers are OWI when their BAC is measured at 0.04% or higher.

Iowa is a zero-tolerance state. Those under the legal drinking age of 21 are considered OWI when their BAC reads 0.02% or higher.

OWI penalties in Iowa

In Iowa, a driver's first OWI offense is considered a serious misdemeanor. A second offense is declared an aggravated misdemeanor. Third and subsequent OWI offenses are class D felonies.

The OWI lookback period in Iowa is 12 years. Repeated OWI offenses will result in harsher sentences and penalties.

In all cases, drivers convicted of an OWI in Iowa must:

  • Complete a course for driving under the influence
  • Complete a substance abuse evaluation and treatment or undergo rehabilitation

First-time OWI offenses in Iowa lead to:

  • 48 hours to one year in jail
  • $1,250 in fines (possibility of a waiver of up to $625 if the DUI did not cause injury or damage)
  • 180-day license revocation
  • Possibility of being assigned to complete community service
  • Vehicle may be impounded for 180 days
  • Interlock ignition device required if BAC reads 0.10% or higher

A second OWI offense in Iowa results in:

  • Seven days to two years in prison
  • $1,875 to $6,250 in fines
  • License revoked for one year
  • Vehicle may be impounded for 180 days or duration of license revocation, whichever is longer
  • Vehicle seized and forfeited to the state if driving on a revoked license
  • IID required for a minimum of one year

For the third and subsequent OWI offenses in Iowa, violators are subject to:

  • 30 days to five years in prison
  • $3,125 to $9,375 in fines
  • License revoked for up to six years
  • Vehicle may be impounded for 180 days or duration of license revocation, whichever is longer
  • Vehicle seized and forfeited to the state if driving on a revoked license
  • IID required for a minimum of one year

OWI leading to injury or death enhances the penalties and jail time that must be served by the offender.

OWI penalties for underage drinkers in Iowa

Iowa is a zero-tolerance state for OWI. Drivers under 18 years old will have their licenses revoked until the revocation expires or until they turn 18, whichever period is longer.

Those charged with underage OWI are prohibited from applying for a temporary restricted license during the period their license is revoked.

An underage OWI offender whose BAC reads lower than 0.08% will have their license revoked for 60 days for a first offense and 90 days for any subsequent offenses. They will also be responsible for paying a $200 fine.

First-time underage OWI offenders may be required to attend a substance abuse awareness program.

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