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Iowa has many residents who are currently struggling with alcohol abuse problems; thus the need for a higher number of quality alcohol rehabs to be available throughout the state. Most people in Iowa will not be in a position to overcome an alcohol addiction without professional alcohol rehabilitation. When a person from Iowa reaches out for the assistance of a quality alcohol rehab facility, they will be taking the first step towards their alcohol recovery. There are many different types of alcohol treatment that are available in and around Iowa, including inpatient, outpatient, holistic alcohol rehabilitation, short term or long term, just to name a select few.

Sometimes an individual from Iowa will choose to attend an outpatient treatment program, which will allow them to attend alcohol treatment classes and to still be able to meet their obligations at home; not every person with long term alcohol abuse problems can thrive while receiving this minimal level of treatment. Another alcohol rehab option is residential inpatient treatment; this type of alcohol rehabilitation allows the person from Iowa to be able to reside at the rehab facility where they will be able to focus solely on their treatment program.

The first step in an Iowa alcohol rehab program is the alcohol detoxification; the alcohol detox is a process by which medical professionals can manage and minimize the physical withdrawal symptoms that can occur when abruptly abstaining from alcohol use. It is vital that an individual from Iowa that has successfully completed alcohol detox follows up this treatment process with a comprehensive alcohol rehab facility that includes some form of counseling, relapse prevention education and a level of follow up care. The primary goal of any quality alcohol treatment center should be to enable the individual from Iowa to be able to get sober and remain that way.


Iowa alcohol related information and statistics are provided by the US Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Conference of State Legislatures, 2004. In Iowa, alcohol related traffic fatalities declined from a high of 305 in 1983, to a low of 110 in 2004. The percentage of traffic fatalities that were alcohol related dropped from a high of 59% in 1983, to a low of 26% in 2005. In 2008, out of all traffic fatalities, 22% involved a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.

All 50 states in the US now apply two statutory offenses to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The first (and original) offense is known either as driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated/impaired (DWI), or operating while intoxicated/impaired (OWI). This is based upon an Iowa police officer's observations (driving behavior, slurred speech, the results of a roadside sobriety test, etc.) The second offense is called "illegal per se", which is driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Since 2002 it has been illegal in all 50 states to drive with a BAC that is 0.08% or higher.

The table below shows the total number of traffic fatalities (Tot) for the Iowa, alcohol related fatalities (Alc-Rel) and fatalities in crashes where the highest BAC in the crash was 0.08 or above (0.08+). It is important to note that the Iowa drunk driving statistics, as shown below, include data from individuals in Iowa who were in an alcohol-related crash, but not driving a motor vehicle at the time. The U.S. Department of Transportation defines alcohol-related deaths as "fatalities that occur in crashes where at least one driver or non-occupant (pedestrian or bicyclist) involved in the crash has a positive Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) value." The fatality rates shown below refer to the number of people killed in all traffic accidents and, separately, in alcohol related traffic accidents, per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

Year

Fatalities

Tot

Alc-Rel

%

0.08+

%

1982

480

250

52

219

46

1983

514

305

59

263

51

1984

420

239

57

204

49

1985

474

260

55

219

46

1986

441

228

52

197

45

1987

491

252

51

215

44

1988

557

279

50

239

43

1989

514

232

45

195

38

1990

465

233

50

200

43

1991

488

205

42

172

35

1992

437

176

40

137

31

1993

459

208

45

175

38

1994

478

211

44

170

36

1995

527

219

42

187

35

1996

465

199

43

177

38

1997

468

178

38

144

31

1998

449

163

36

139

31

1999

490

169

34

138

28

2000

445

139

31

118

26

2001

446

152

34

123

28

2002

405

137

34

110

27

2003

441

145

33

119

27

2004

390

110

28

91

23

2005

450

118

26

102

23

2006

439

142

32

122

28

2007

445

137

31

106

24

2008

412

113

27

89

22



2003-2004 Iowa Alcohol Related Issue: Percentage % Ranking

Alcohol Abuse or Dependence

9.42%

[9th of 51]

Alcohol consumption > Binge drinkers

18.9%

[4th of 52]

Alcohol consumption > Casual drinkers

56.8%

[26th of 52]

Alcohol consumption > Heavy drinkers

5.5%

[15th of 52]

Alcohol related traffic fatalities

110

[36th of 51]

Alcohol related traffic fatalities (per capita)

0.371 per 10,000 people

[44th of 51]

Alcohol related traffic fatalities, as a percentage

28%

[50th of 51]

Alcohol Use in the Past Month

54.04%

[16th of 51]

'Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2003-2004, Office of Applied Studies 2003-2004 and the MADD Official Website statistics 2004

When is a driver considered to be legally drunk in Iowa?

  • Non-commercial drivers age 21+ in Iowa are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 or more.
  • Drivers of commercial vehicles in Iowa are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .04 percent or greater. In Iowa, school bus drivers are commercial drivers.
  • Drivers under 21 in Iowa are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .02 or more.

Penalties for Drunk Driving in Iowa

  • First-time offenders in Iowa face a term of imprisonment 48 hours to one year and are subject to pay a fine of up to $1,250. The driver's license revocation period is 180 days to one year.
  • Second-time offenders in Iowa face a term of imprisonment of seven days to two years and are subject to pay a fine of $1,875 to $6,250. Depending on the circumstances, the offender's driver's license may be revoked for up to two years.
  • Those who commit a third or subsequent offense face up to five years in prison and are subject to pay a fine of $3,225 to $9,375. Depending on the circumstances, the offender's driver's license may be revoked for up to six years.
  • All persons in Iowa convicted of operating while under the influence (OWI) in Iowa must undergo an Iowa substance abuse evaluation and may be ordered to participate in a reality education substance abuse prevention program.
  • A judge may order "emergency response" restitution of $500 per agency dispatched if a drunk driver in Iowa necessitates fire fighters, police, ambulance, medical, or other emergency services to be dispatched.

Enhanced Penalties for Causing Serious Injury or Death

  • If a drunk driver in Iowa caused a third party to suffer a serious injury, the offender's driver's license will be revoked for an additional year.
  • If a drunk driver in Iowa caused the death of a third party, the offender's driver's license will be revoked for six years.

Ignition Interlock

Convicted drunk drivers in Iowa can request temporary restricted licenses during a portion of their driver's license revocation periods. A convicted drunk driver's license, however, must be revoked for a specific time period that is determined from the circumstances surrounding the conviction before the offender is eligible to apply for a restricted license. If a judge grants the request, the Iowa offender must install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles that he or she owns or operates.

Commercial Drivers

In addition to other penalties associated with Iowa's OWI laws, a commercial driver who is convicted of OWI while driving any vehicle will be disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle for one year. If, however, the offender was driving a commercial vehicle and transporting hazardous materials at the time, the disqualification period is three years. A commercial driver in Iowa who is convicted of OWI a second time will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for life, which may or may not be reduced to 10 years.

Drivers Under 21

In addition to other penalties that may apply, an underage driver in Iowa who commits an OWI will have his or her driver's license revoked in accordance with the laws applicable to adult offenders. Underage drivers who are convicted of OWI in Iowa are not eligible to apply for a restricted license for at least 60 days. First-time offenders in Iowa may participate in Iowa's Youthful Offender Substance Abuse Awareness Program which consists of an insight class and an Iowa substance abuse evaluation. The program may also include a supervised educational tour to a hospital or an emergency care facility that regularly receives victims of motor vehicle accidents or to a morgue to receive appropriate educational material and instruction concerning damages caused by alcohol or other drugs.

What is Iowa's Dram Shop Act and Civil Liability Act for Dispensing Liquor to Underage Persons?

Under Iowa's Dram Shop Act, a person in Iowa who is injured by an intoxicated person has a right of action for all damages he or she sustains against the licensed Iowa drinking establishment that sold and served alcohol to the intoxicated person, so long as the establishment knew or should have known that the person was intoxicated or would become intoxicated. This Act requires the injured person to give written notice to the Iowa drinking establishment or its insurance carrier of the victim's intention to sue within six months of the injury. The notice must include the time, place, and circumstances that caused the injury.

Iowa's Dram Shop Act also includes the law regarding civil liability for dispensing liquor to underage persons in Iowa. This law permits a person who is injured by an intoxicated person who is under 21 to bring an action for all damages he or she sustains against the person who gave the liquor to the minor, so long as that person knew or should have known that the minor was underage.

Criminal and Civil Penalties for Selling or Alcohol to a Minor

If a licensed drinking establishment in Iowa sells liquor to a minor, the owner is subject to pay a $1,500 fine, and the employee who served the minor is subject to pay a $500 fine. Offenders also face up to 30 days in jail. In addition, civil penalties apply. For a first violation, the civil penalty is $500. Failure to pay the penalty will result in an automatic 14-day liquor license suspension. A second violation within two years subjects the licensee to a 30-day liquor license suspension and payment of a $1,500 civil penalty. A third violation within three years subjects the licensee to a 60-day liquor license suspension and a $1,500 civil penalty. A fourth violation within three years will result in revocation of the offender's liquor license.

Criminal Penalties for Giving Alcohol to a Minor

A person who is 21 or older who gives alcohol to a minor in Iowa commits a crime punishable by up to one year in prison and payment of a fine of $500 to $1,500. If, however, a violation of this law results in serious injury to any person, the offender faces up to two years in prison and payment of a fine of $500 to $5,000. If the violation results in the death of any person, the offender in Iowa faces up to five years in prison and payment of a fine of $750 to $7,500.

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  • Chronic alcohol abuse enlarges the kidneys, alters hormone functions, and increases the risk of kidney failure.
  • People under the age of 21 spend an estimated $5.5 billion annually on alcoholic beverages.
  • Alcohol depresses nerves that control involuntary actions such as breathing and the gag reflex which prevents choking). A fatal dose of alcohol will eventually stop these functions.
  • In China, The same emperor who was credited for learning how to make rice wine would eventually try to outlaw its use fearing that the effects of this drink on the population would eventually lead to the fall of his kingdom.

For more information, visit www.drug-rehabs.org.