Under new bill OWI offenders would have to check in daily with police

DES MOINES, Iowa - If you drink and drive in the state of Iowa, you're going to pay the price and in a big way if a proposed bill passes.

It's called the 24/7 sobriety bill, and it's making a lot of headway at the Statehouse. It  would impact both first time and repeat offenders of people who drive while intoxicated.

It's got a lot of support from both sides of the aisle. So what does it do?

This 24/7 sobriety bill was created to do more than just punish someone who's been drinking and driving. It would require someone to basically sober up for 90 days.

"Just by affording people that 90 day window where they're not involved in any type of drug or alcohol behavior a lot of them find themselves no longer needing it and so it breaks that recidivism that we see so highly," said St. Rep. Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant).

"I think there's probably a segment of the population out there that might have some problems with alcohol abuse where this might help them get the help they need to squelch their problem altogether," said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek.

Offenders would be required to check in twice daily with local law enforcement.

"You will have to check in at 12 hours on each part of the day. You'll have a little bit of flexibility in there, but you can't binge drink all night and then sober up for the next evening. You've got to be there first thing in the morning," said Nunn.

The offender would be tested through a breathalyzer. There would also be an interlock device which would prevent that person from starting their car if they've been drinking.

"We have had occasions where we've arrested the same person more than once in a 24 hour period for OWI," said Parizek.

A first-time offender would see around $16-hundred in fines and court costs and even jail time, but this bill would not add any extra cost to the offender.

"If the judge believes it's available to cut that fine in half and spend half that money towards things like the twice a day sobriety, that $2 for each test, so $4 a day, probably less than they're already spending at the bar, so this is a good thing," said Nunn.

"Anything that a legislator can do that's going to deter people from drinking and driving, anything that might help us back off on some of those numbers that we see annually, it's a good thing," said Parizek.

If a person fails one of their twice daily check-ins they would spend up to 24 hours in jail. The bill is now in the hands of the House Ways and Means subcommittee.

The bill also includes distracted driving, anyone that commits a Class C Felony by killing someone while distracted would face jail time.


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Hidden History
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • How to change your Facebook Preferences
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • QC Health Alert
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Your Local Elections HQ
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Our QC Cares

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center