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Connects Against Crime: Holiday Season O.W.I.s

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) --  Not every flashing light during the holiday season is pretty, especially the ones coming from a state trooper's car.

The holidays, getting with family and friends, alcohol does end up getting involved in those parties, said trooper Bob Conrad with Iowa State Patrol.

Often partiers dont drink too much - a lot of it is social drinking - but it doesn't take much.

Any time you kinda push it to the edge, you go OK I'm feeling the buzz, I'm going to leave. Conrad said.  That's a bad thing too, because if you get to the edge you can always fall off that edge.

When you fall of that edge, it can lead to you falling right into the back of a police car. At that point, attorneys like John Jacobsen step in.

It is wildly expensive to have an O.W.I. in the state of Iowa, Jacobsen said.

Just how expensive? Jacobsen says even the first offense can be pricy.

You're going to have an introductory fee of $1,000, court costs, a 35% surcharge; you might spend $4,000 on an attorney, Jacobsen said.

Jacobsen says those fees dont even include DOT fines.

You'll likely have to pay a civil penalty to the Iowa Department of Transportation to get your full license back, he says.

By time it's all said and done, you can pay anywhere between $8,000 and $10,000 for a O.W.I.

Conrad says it's not worth it, especially during the holiday season.

Nobody wants to be responsible for hurting family...nobody wants to be responsible for a drunk driving crash.

Trooper Conrad says the number one way to avoid an O.W.I. - don't drink. However if that doesn't work out, get a designated driver - maybe a completely sober party attendee or a family member. If necessary, you can also just take a cab home.
 
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