Under Iowa’s OWI law, there are strict requirements that must be met for an officer to eventually charge someone with OWI. There are essentially three stages and before an officer moves from one stage to the next, he must satisfy certain requirements within each stage. To move from one stage to the next, an officer has to have evidence that he is trying to obtain which allows him to proceed on. Most of the evidence is founded upon a determination of reasonable grounds to believe someone is drinking and driving. Keep in mind that it is not illegal to drink and drive. It is illegal to drink and drive drunk. But the law says that any admission that you have been drinking allows the officer to move on to the next stage, in other words he can advance towards an arrest. Some officers, and some people in general, believe that any alcohol consumption should result in an OWI. An officer can ask if you’ve been drinking as soon as he pulls you over, even if he doesn’t smell alcohol or have any other basis for suspecting a drunk driver. When a person admits they have had a drink, they are then going to be subjected to field sobriety testing, and those "tests" are designed for you to fail.
So what is the lesson to be learned and why should you listen to this advice?
The lesson is that there are no casual conversations with a police officer. It's like you hear on television, everything you say can and will be used against you.
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