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In 2015, Iowa recorded 89 alcohol related traffic fatalities. The number is only four short of the number recorded a decade ago. In 2005, Iowa had 85 alcohol related fatalities. What is most alarming about these numbers is the fact that in 2005, Iowa had 450 total traffic fatalities which made the 118 alcohol related deaths, just under 19% of the total. In 2015, Iowa had a total of 320 traffic fatalities making the 85 alcohol related deaths over 26% of total fatalities.

As Iowa has seen a steady decline in the number of total traffic fatalities, we have not made the same strides in reducing alcohol-related traffic deaths. After reaching a low of 66 alcohol related fatalities in 2011 (20% of total), alcohol related deaths began rising with 92 in 2012 and 94 in 2013.

During the 2017 program year which runs October 2016 through September 2017, the Bureau is utilizing a combination of federal Section 402 (General) and Section 405d (Impaired Driving Countermeasures) monies to provide impaired driving enforcement funding support to 97 law enforcement agencies throughout the state, including 29 sheriffs’ offices, 65 local police departments and two university police departments as well as the Iowa State Patrol. In addition to the enforcement agencies, three communication centers that provide dispatch support for law enforcement agencies receive funding.

Training opportunities for all Iowa law enforcement personnel, OWI prosecutors and judges in Iowa's 99 counties were provided through programs with the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, the Prosecuting Attorney's Training Council and the Judicial Training Branch of the State Court Administrator's Office.

A program with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s Criminalistics Laboratory provides funds for DataMaster units for local law enforcement agencies and training on the use of the devices to test blood concentration levels of traffic violators. The Lab also provides set up, installation and maintenance of the units. In additon, the Crime Lab provides detailed analysis of blood and urine samples for Iowa enforcement agencies and the staff at the Lab frequently provide expert testimony in OWI court cases.

Public information initiatives sponsored by the Bureau include Public Service Announcements produced by The Integer Group. The Bureau prints and provides on request, a brochure on Iowa's OWI Law. The brochure details Criminal Penalties, Driver's License Revocation, Administrative issues on Test Failure or Refusal, Drivers under Age 18 and 1st, 2nd and Deferred Sentences. Additional information is included on Driving While Revoked, Vehicle Impoundment and Reinstating a Driver's License.

The Bureau also provides materials to Iowa law enforcement agencies to assist in enforcement of Iowa's Operating While Impaired laws. An on-line guide of Iowa's OWI law that outlines criminal penalities, license sanctions for OWI and Implied Consent is available on the Law Enforcement Guides page of this site. The guide also includes information on impoundment of vehicles, underage drinking and possession, and OWI enforcement issues. A Standardized Field Sobriety Test booklet is available that includes an OWI Detection Guide, Post Stop Cues, Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Instructions, Romberg Balance Instructions, Walk and Turn Instructions, One-Leg Stand Instructions and Finger to Nose Test Instructions. There are "tear out sheets" that can be used for each SFST conducted. To obtain an Iowa OWI SFST booklet contact GTSB Impaired Driving Programs Coordinator Denny Becker 515-725-6128 or You may also call the general office number at 515-725-6123.

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Created: 02-07-2006
Last Updated: 12-17-2012 (JGL)
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