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Arkansas DWI Laws & Penalties

Arkansas DWI

Arkansas DWI laws state that a person is considered to be driving while intoxicated when their blood alcohol level is .08% or greater. Upon arrest for an Arkansas DWI charge your driver's license shall be surrendered to the arresting officer per Arkansas code 5-65-104. Minors with a blood alcohol level of .02% or greater are also considered DWI. Sometimes minors are referred to as DUI, not DWI.

Any Arkansas DWI offense that occurs within 10 years of a previous offense shall be considered a subsequent offense and the defendant will be charged as such.

If you have been arrested on an Arkansas DWI charge, you must request an Arkansas DMV hearing immediately if you wish to retain your driving privileges. If you wait more than seven days from the date of the arrest, your driver’s license will be revoked.

It is extremely important to have your lawyer attend your DMV hearing with you if you hope to have any chance at retaining your driving privileges. The odds of retaining your license without the assistance of a DUI lawyer are stacked against you and for the few hundred dollars that a lawyer will charge for his or her service in this matter is small considering the alternative.

Arkansas Court Punishments

Arkansas DWI  first offenders face jail time. The court can give a minimum of one day in jail and a maximum of one year. However, in less serious cases of Arkansas DWI, community service can replace incarceration in the sentencing. The arrest also carries a fine of between $150 and $1000. The offender is responsible for the $300 court costs. Second and third Arkansas DWI offenses carry longer jail times and steeper fees. A fourth DWI offense is considered a felony, with a minimum of one year of jail or community service time. The court can also require you to use an ignition interlock, which is a machine that requires you to pass a breath test before you can start your car. This is often done if your blood alcohol level tested higher than .18%.

Arkansas Department of Finance Punishments

An Arkansas DWI also carries penalties from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. If your breath test was under .15 you will have your license suspended for 120 days. With the help of a lawyer, you may be able to get a restricted license to allow you to drive to and from work or school.

BAC Testing in Arkansas

If you are pulled over on suspicion of an Arkansas DWI, you must provide a blood, urine, or breath test sample. If you refuse to do this, it is considered in court as admitting to your guilt, and your fees and license suspension time will increase. If you are pulled over, be sure to cooperate with the officers. After you have returned home, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to help you with your case.

You can expect to be asked to attend an alcohol driving education program in conjunction with your Arkansas DWI. The cost will be around $50 for the program. Your insurance will increase as much as $1,500 per year. Do not be surprised if your current insurance carrier refuses to keep you as a customer because a lot of insurance providers do not provide SR22 filings. We offer a free no obligation SR22 insurance quote.

Arkansas DWI First Offense Penalties

  • A person convicted of a first offense DWI in Arkansas may face jail time of 24 hours up to a maximum of 1-year in jail. The court may however require the defendant to perform public service in lieu of any jail time.

  • The minimum fines for a first offense are $150 with a maximum fine of $1,000.

  • Driver's License will be suspended for 120 days for a BAC reading of .15% or less or 180 days for a BAC reading of .18% or greater. There will be a 180-day license suspension for refusing to submit to a blood, breath or urine test.

  • An ignition interlock may be required by the court in order to obtain a restricted license. If a restricted license is issued to a first time offender, it will state the times and circumstances for which driving is allowed.

Arkansas DWI Second Offense Penalties

  • A person convicted of a second offense DWI will spend a minimum of 7 days in jail, up to 1-year if the second offense occurred within 5 to 10 years of the previous offense. The court may order a minimum of 30 days of community service instead of jail time.

  • The fines for a second offense will be $400 if the offense happened more than 10 years since the last offense. If the offense occurred within 5 to 10 years of a previous conviction, the fines can be as much as $3,000 dollars.

  • Driver's license will be suspended for 24 months following a second offense which occurs within 5 to 10 years of a first offense DWI conviction. The court may order the issuance of an ignition interlock restricted license after the first 12 months of the 24 month suspension period. There will be a 2-year license suspension with no chance of obtaining a restricted license for refusing to submit to a blood, breath or urine test.

Arkansas DWI Third Offense Penalties

  • A person convicted of a third DWI offense within 10 years of a previous DWI conviction will face a minimum of 90 days in jail, up to a maximum of 1-year in jail. The court may order a minimum of 90 days of community service in lieu of jail time.

  • The fine will be a minimum of $900 up to a maximum of $5,000 for a third DWI offense that occurs within 5 to 10 years of a previous offense. These fine amounts also apply to any subsequent offense that occurs within a 10 year period.

  • A person's driver's license will be suspended for 30 months following a third DWI offense within 10 years of a previous offense. The court may order a restricted license requiring an ignition interlock device, in which case the minimum suspension period will be no less than 1-year. Refusal to submit to a blood, breath or urine test will result in a 3-year license revocation period in which no restricted license will be issued.

Arkansas DWI Fourth or Subsequent Offense Penalties

  • A fourth or subsequent DWI offense in Arkansas is considered a felony conviction. The minimum jail time for a fourth DWI offense within 5 to 10 years of a previous offense is 1-year and can be up to a maximum jail sentence of 6 years.In lieu of jail time the court may order the defendant to serve a minimum of 1-year of community service.

  • The fines for a fourth or subsequent offense will be $900 to $5,000 if the offense occurred within 10 years of a previous offense. For a fourth offense within the past 10 years you can plan on the fines being more towards the high-end of the range.

  • A fourth or subsequent DWI offense within 5 to 10 years of a previous offense will result in a driver's license revocation for a period of 4 years. There will be no chance of obtaining a restricted license during the 4-year revocation period.

  • There is a lifetime driver's license revocation for refusing to submit to a blood, alcohol or urine test if the offense happened within 5 to 10 years of a previous offense.

  • The court may also order the defendant's vehicle to be seized and forfeited for a fourth or subsequent offense within the past 10 years.

Chemical Testing

    1. Chemical testing must be performed by a person with a valid permit.
  • Independent chemical testing must be performed by a qualified person and the costs of a independent test are the defendants responsibility.

  • Test results must be made available to defendant and the defendants DWI lawyer, upon request.

Arkansas SR22 Insurance Requirements

When a person convicted of DWI in Arkansas obtains a restricted driver's license they will be required by the Arkansas DMV to carry SR22 insurance for a period of 3 years. We have partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in Arkansas and have worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won't be able to find a cheaper SR22 insurance policy in Arkansas for any less.  Type in your zip code below so we can provide the cheapest rates in your area.

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Other Arkansas DWI Resources

  • Arkansas DWI First Offense -  Detailed first offense information including punishments after a first offense DWI in Arkansas.

  • 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.