West Des Moines man with twin OWIs awaits trial

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Benjamin Alan Tiefenthaler, 37, of West Des Moines was arrested Feb. 8 on a charge of second-offense OWI and Dec. 22, 2020, on a charge of second-offense OWI.

A West Des Moines man pleaded not guilty Thursday in connection with his arrest Feb. 8 in Waukee for drunk driving, bringing to two the number of OWI charges currently pending against him in Dallas County.

Benjamin Alan Tiefenthaler, 37, of 6630 Cody Dr., West Des Moines, was charged with second-offense OWI after he allegedly “rear-ended a vehicle that was stopped for a red light” in the 600 block of E. Hickman Road about 3:45 p.m. Feb. 8, according to court records.

Officers of the Waukee Police Department arrived and determined that Tiefenthaler appeared to be “very paranoid” and “was saying weird things and slurring his words” and “seemed confused,” according to court records.

When asked by the officers whether he had been drinking, Tiefenthaler allegedly “became angry and was blaming the other driver for the accident,” leading the officers to believe that Tiefenthaler “was under the influence of something due to his erratic behavior and slurred speech,” according to court records.

A Datamaster breath alcohol test returned a result of .217.

Tiefenthaler was arrested Dec. 22, 2020, in West Des Moines on a charge of second-offense OWI in connection with a single-vehicle accident about 10:30 a.m. in the 600 block of S. 88th Street in West Des Moines.

Officers of the West Des Moines Police Department found Tiefenthaler to present “slurred speech, very little motor skills and the inability to stand on his own,” according to court records. Standard field sobriety tests were not administered because the officers “had to assist him in walking.”

Tiefenthaler is held in the Dallas County Jail on a $2,000 cash-only bond. He is scheduled for arraignment Feb. 25 in Dallas County District Court in connection with the Feb. 8 incident. He is scheduled for a pretrial conference March 11 in Dallas County District Court in connection with the December 2020 incident.

Tiefenthaler was convicted of first-offense OWI in 2008 in Story County District Court. He was convicted of first-offense OWI in 2017 in Polk County District Court.

*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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