Arkansas DWI Laws: Time is not on your side

If you are arrested for DWI in Arkansas, you will be faced with both a criminal court case, where you may face jail, license suspensions and more, and a separate DWI driver's license case.

Below is a table outlining the general penalties and fines associated with a DWI conviction in Arkanas. Keep in mind, the laws are always changing, and other factors are considered by the court, so it is always recommended that anyone facing a DWI or DUI conviction in Arkansas to consult with an attorney.

Arkansas DWI Penalties

Court Fines Potential Jail Time License Suspension
1st Conviction $150-1,000 1-365 Days
6 Months
2nd Conviction $900-5,000 7-365 Days
2 Years
3rd Conviction $1800-2800 90-365 Days 30 Months
4th Conviction $1800-2800 1-6 Years
4 Years

DWI Charges

Arkansas can bring charges against you according to two different theories (or both). Firstly, there is what's known as a "common-law" DWI charge, where the prosecution must show that you are impaired by alcohol, drugs or a combination thereof. It is not necessary to show any particular blood alcohol level for a common-law DWI conviction, only impairment of mental or physical faculties.

Arkansas may also prosecute you for DWI if you have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 per cent or higher, regardless of impairment.

Possible DWI offenses include the following:

  • Driving under the influence of any of the following either on its own or in combination - alcohol, controlled substances, or other intoxicants
  • Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater
  • If a minor, driving with a BAC of .02 or greater

Remember, you must request a DMV hearing within seven days of the arrest if you wish to keep your driving privileges, or your license will be suspended automatically.

Chemical Testing

As an Arkansas arrestee, you are required to provide a sample of blood, breath or urine for testing. Refusal may be considered consciousness of guilt at your trial, and may carry additional, separate penalties. Test refusal my also result in immediate seizure of your license. The type of test administered is at the discretion of the arresting officer, but you may decline the blood test if you're willing to submit to a urine test or breath test.

A driver accused of a DWI offense also has the right to request a second, independent, chemical test at their own expense.

Criminal Court: Repercussions

If you are convicted of a DWI in Arkansas, your punishment may be increased if you had children in the car, or were involved with an accident. These punishments are separate from any driver's license sanctions imposed through the DMV.

Your first DWI offense will get you up to one year in jail and a fine between $150 and $1,000, plus court costs. The court may assign you public service instead of jail time. Penalties increase with additional infractions.

Escalation to Felony

Your fourth DWI conviction is a felony and carries between one and six years in the state penitentiary or a minimum of one year community service, and a $900 to $5,000 fine. Your fifth offense is also a felony, and begets a sentence of two to ten years in prison or not less than two years community service, and a $900 to $5,000 fine.

Administrative Repercussions

Additionally, you may be subject to administrative drivers' license penalties, which are completely separate from any penalties imposed by the court system. Your first offense will get you 120 days' suspension if your blood alcohol is below 0.15, and you may be able to get a restricted license for work or school purposes. Refusal of the test guarantees you 180 days. Penalties are more severe for additional offenses or higher blood alcohol levels. If it is your fourth offense, your license will be revoked for a minimum of four years. If you refuse testing on your fourth offense, your license will be permanently revoked.

A DUI or DWI charge is complicated and can result in a lot of trouble if not handled by a professional. If you've been charged with DWI, contact a DUI Attorney as soon as possible.

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