Arkansas First Offense DWI Laws
An Arkansas DWI offense is considered a first offense if you have not been convicted of a previous DWI offense within the previous 10-year period.
An Arkansas DWI first offense conviction can have major consequences if the charge is not dealt with swiftly and by a skilled Arkansas DWI lawyer. In the state of Arkansas if a person is found guilty of driving while intoxicated or DWI, the conviction will become a permanent part of their criminal record in Arkansas since DWI convictions cannot be expunged from a person's criminal record in the state of Arkansas.
Arkansas Administrative Drivers License Hearing
Upon being arrested for a first offense DWI in Arkansas the arresting officer will confiscate your driver's license and issue you a Notice of Suspension/Revocation of your driving privileges. This notice will allow you to continue driving for the next 30 days and on the 31st day the notice will be enforced and you will not be able to legally drive.
Important: Once you receive a Notice of Suspension/Revocation from an officer you only have 7 days in which you can request an administrative hearing with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration if you wish to avoid your license suspension.
Failure to request a hearing within the given 7 day window will result in the automatic suspension of your license for a first offense DWI arrest in Arkansas. The purpose of the administrative hearing is to determine if the accused was in fact driving while intoxicated, or registered a BAC of .08% or greater, or refused to submit to a chemical test. The hearing is also used to determine if the person is eligible for a restricted license.
The key to receiving a positive outcome in your administrative hearing case is to have a skilled Arkansas DWI lawyer who knows the process represent you at your hearing. If you have just been arrested on a first offense DWI charge in Arkansas it is very important that you contact our Arkansas DWI lawyers today to schedule your hearing with the Arkansas DFA.
A first offense DWI arrest in Arkansas will trigger two separate cases, the first being the administrative process regarding a person's driver's license, which we just covered above and the second is the actual criminal case of driving while intoxicated which will be handled by the Arkansas court system.
In the criminal case the prosecution is going to use the circumstantial evidence that has been collected against you to prove that you are in fact guilt of a first offense DWI in Arkansas. This evidence will include your driving patterns before the stop was made, your appearance during the stop, the field sobriety test results if submitted to and the chemical test results.
Even if a person is not found to have been operating a motor vehicle with a BAC level above the legal limit of .08% they can still be convicted on a first offense DWI charge in Arkansas merely by displaying signs that are consistent with those that are commonly associated with someone who is over the legal limit of .08%.
Arkansas DWI First Offense Penalties
An Arkansas first offense DWI conviction will result in a minimum jail sentence of 24 hours up to a maximum jail sentence of 1-year. The length of the jail sentence will be determined by the Judge and will be based on numerous factors including:
- Blood alcohol level.
- Was there a minor in the vehicle at the time.
- Was there an accident involving injuries to others or property damage.
- Accident involving death or serious bodily injury.
- And other factors not listed here.
At the courts discretion they may opt for issuing community service in lieu of all or part of the jail sentence.
A first offense DWI in Arkansas will result in a license suspension period of 120 days for a BAC reading of .15% or less and a 180 day suspension for a BAC reading of .18% or greater. A restricted license is available to those with a BAC of .15% or less and an ignition interlock license can be granted for those with a BAC of .18% or greater. You will be required to show proof of an SR22 insurance policy and filing. You can obtain both of those by entering your zip code below and completing the short form on the following page.
An Arkansas first offense DWI conviction will result in a minimum fine amount of $150 up to the maximum fine of $1,000 plus all associated court costs in the case, which will be around $300.
Arkansas SR22 Insurance Information & Quotes
When you are eligible to have your license reinstated following your suspension period or upon being granted a restricted license, the Arkansas DFA will require you to complete an SR22 insurance filing with them and maintain your SR22 insurance filing for a period of 3-years.
Once you become eligible to have your license reinstated you will need to do the following:
- Signup for an Arkansas SR22 insurance policy that meets the state's minimum auto insurance coverage limits.
- Take a copy of your SR22 policy to one of Arkansas's Driver Services office locations.
- Pay a license reinstatement fee of $150.
Once you complete the license reinstatement process it is very important that you avoid any lapse in your SR22 insurance coverage because if a lapse occurs your insurance provider is obligated by law to inform the DFA of the lapse and the DFA will then suspend your license again and send you a Notice of Suspension in the mail. If this happens you will have to go through the process of reinstatement again, including paying the $150 reinstatement fee a second time.
The easiest way to avoid a potential lapse in your Arkansas SR22 insurance coverage is by choosing a policy with an affordable premium from the start. By filling out our simple 3 part insurance quote form we will present you with up to 5 separate quotes from insurance providers in your area who offer SR22 insurance filings. On average we are able to save Arkansas DWI offenders at least $450 per billing cycle in their SR22 insurance. To find out how much we can save you just enter your zip code in the box below and complete the simple quote form:
Other Arkansas DWI Resources
Arkansas DWI Laws - Complete overview of Arkansas DWI laws, fines and penalties for each DWI offense.
Arkansas SR22 Insurance - Learn everything you need to know about Arkansas SR22 filing requirements with the DMV and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your Arkansas SR22 insurance.
Arkansas DWI Lawyers - Contact one of our Arkansas DWI lawyers today.
Arkansas Alcohol Education Programs - We offer a complete listing of Arkansas approved alcohol education programs.