Arkansas DWI Laws: FAQ

What is the legal drinking limit for drivers in Arkansas?

The blood alcohol limit in Arkansas is a 0.08 BAC, unless you are driving a commercial vehicle. If you are driving a commercial vehicle then the maximum blood alcohol limit is a BAC of 0.04. Finally, drivers under 21 years old may not legally drive if their BAC exceeds 0.02.

Can I refuse to take a DWI Chemical Test in Arkansas?

If you refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test after being arrested for DUI/DWI in Arkansas, or if the results of your test were 0.08% BAC or above, your license will be suspended 30 days after the arrest unless you or your attorney take appropriate action to demand an administrative hearing within 10 business days after arrest. Additionally, if you refuse to take a chemical test, according to Arkansas’ implied consent law, your license will be suspended for 180 days on top of the penalties accompanying your DUI/DWI conviction.

What are the penalties for drunk driving in Arkansas?

A first time DUI/DWI conviction in Arkansas carries the following penalties:

·         Fine ($150-$1,000),

·         Minimum 120 day driver’s license suspension,

·         Jail Time (1 day to 1 year) or Public Service,

·         Possible ignition interlock device, and

·         Alcohol treatment or education program.

Penalties for a second drunk driving offense, within 5 years of the first, include:
                     ·         2 year driver’s license suspension,
                     ·         Alcohol treatment or education program,
                     ·         Fine ($400-$3,000),
                     ·         Possible ignition interlock device, and
                     ·         Jail time (7 days to 1 year).

A third drunk driving conviction, within 5 years of the first, will result in the following penalties:
                   ·         30 month driver’s license suspension,
                   ·         Alcohol treatment or education program,
                   ·         Fine ($900-$5,000),
                   ·         Jail Time (90 days to 1 year),
                   ·         Possible ignition interlock device, and
                   ·         Minimum 90 days of community service.

A fourth drunk driving conviction, within 5 years of the first, is considered a felony. Accordingly, you may face the following penalties:
                  ·         4 years suspended driver’s license,
                  ·         Alcohol treatment or education program,
                  ·         Fine ($900-$5,000),
                  ·         Jail Time (1-6 years),
                  ·         Possible ignition interlock device, and
                  ·         Minimum 1 year of community service.

Any subsequent drunk driving conviction, within 5 years of the first, will also result in a felony and even harsher penalties, including a lengthier jail sentence.

DUI or DWI used in Arkansas?

Both Driving Under the Influence (“DUI”) and Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”) are considered the same offense in Arkansas. Accordingly, Arkansas authorities will use the two terms interchangeably.

What must I do to get my license reinstated after a DUI Suspension in Arkansas?

You have to take affirmative actions to get your license back. This will not happen automatically and your license will remain suspended after the sentence is up if you do not do the following:

  • Pay $150 reinstatement fee to Revenue Department,
  • Show proof of attending DWI school or treatment program, and
  • Show proof of insurance.

Remember it is your job to know when your suspension is up and to get this done.

How long will my driver’s license be suspended after a DWI/DUI in Arkansas?

The actual suspension will come down to various factors, but generally it breaks down as follows:

  • 1st Offense: 6 Months
  • 2nd Offense: 2 Years
  • 3rd Offense: 30 Months
  • 4th or Subsequent Offense: 4 Years
  • Refusal of Chemical Test: 180 Days

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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