Drunk driving deaths in Iowa rose by more than 7 percent last year, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Approximately one out of every three traffic deaths was attributed to drunk driving.
You know that drunk driving is against the law in Iowa, but as someone who has been hurt by a drunk driver, or someone whose loved one has died because of a drunk driver, you need to know exactly what that means.
Iowa Drunk Driving Laws
The Iowa Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) law makes it against the law to drive:
- While under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or other drug, or a combination of such substances.
- While having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or more.
- While having any amount of a controlled substance in one’s body.
Anyone who drives a car or other motor vehicle in Iowa is consenting to be tested for alcohol or drugs whenever a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the driver is operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This may, or may not, be after an accident has occurred.
Why These Laws Are Relevant to Your Personal Injury Claim
The laws described above may result in penalties for a driver who is found to be intoxicated regardless of whether that driver caused an accident. None of these laws, however, will result in an automatic award of damages to a person who has been injured by an Iowa driver or the estate of someone who has been killed by a drunk driver.
Yet these laws are relevant to your recovery. If you can prove that the driver violated the Iowa OWI law, then you may be able to prove that the driver was negligent and should pay for your accident damages. However, you should expect that the drunk driver and his insurance company, together with their lawyers, will argue that there was another cause of the accident and that you should not be able to recover damages.
Accordingly, it is important to be prepared, to gather evidence, and to fight for your fair and just recovery. Please start a live chat with us today if you have been injured in a drunk driving accident and you would like to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers.