Drivers in Arkansas who are 21 years old or older can be charged with DWI if they have a blood alcohol concentration of at least .08 percent. For drivers who are under the legal drinking age, a charge of a DWI is levied with a BAC of .02 percent. Commercial drivers have a BAC limit of .04 percent, and the consequences can be particularly serious if the driver is in the process of operating a commercial vehicle at the time of intoxication.
A police officer may pull a vehicle over for any driving irregularities that raise suspicion about a driver’s condition to drive. These might include a lack of smooth acceleration, swerving in and out of lanes, abrupt stops or overall reckless driving.
The state of Arkansas has an enforced implied consent law, which means that a driver, by being behind the wheel of a car, automatically gives consent to a police officer to be tested for drug or alcohol use if the officer suspects that the driver might be intoxicated. If the driver refuses to be tested for his or her blood alcohol content, the driver’s license will automatically be revoked, and he or she will be subject to a fine.
When a driver in Arkansas receives a DWI charge for the first time, the penalty is a 6-month license suspension. The driver can spend from 24 hours to one year in jail or do community service. The fine can be anywhere from $150 to $1,000. The driver will have an ignition interlock device for 6 months beginning 30 days after their arrest. To have their license reinstated, the driver will have to attend an alcohol treatment program and pay a $150 fee per offense.
Arkansas DWI penalties for a second offense within five years of a first call for a driver to spend seven days to one year in jail. The mandatory fine is anywhere from $400 to $3,000. The driver’s license will be suspended for 24 months, and they’ll have an ignition interlock system for two years after having their license reinstated. Reinstatement again requires attending an alcohol treatment program and a $150 fee per offense.
Jail time for a third DWI is 90 days to 1 year with a fine of $900-$5,000. The driver will have their license suspended for 30 months, and an ignition interlock device may be allowed after 1 year by the court. The driver will serve a minimum of 90 days community service. Alcohol treatment and a $150 fee per offense are also required for the reinstatement of the driver’s license.
A fourth DWI in Arkansas within a span of five years is a felony. The penalty is one to six years of jail time, a fine from $900-$5,000, license suspension for 4 years and a minimum of 1 year of community service. The driver’s vehicle may be seized. The driver will also have to complete an alcohol treatment program.
Drivers cannot plea for a conviction of a lesser offense in order to reduce Arkansas DWI penalties.