Arkansas DWI Laws 2024 – Everything You Need to Know

Arkansas DWI Laws Everything You Need to Know

Getting a DWI in Arkansas can stain your driving record. Not to mention hit you with hefty penalties. 

But that’s not the worse part. 

Driving while intoxicated can put you, your passengers, and everyone in the surrounding area in danger. 

This is why Arkansas has implanted some strict DWI laws. 

And this is why, today, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about Arkansas DWI laws this 2024. 

Let’s get started!

DWI Laws in Arkansas 

Arkansas DWI Laws

As stated by law, if you are suspected of DWI, officers have the right to check your BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration). And, you, as the driver, have to agree to take the breathalyzer test right in your car. 

If not that, then you have to submit to a blood or urine test at the police station. 

If you refuse, your driver’s license can be temporarily suspended or permanently revoked. 

But how much BAC is considered illegal in Arkansas?

Let’s break it down:

  • For drivers 21 years old and older, a BAC of 0.08% is considered a DWI.
  • For drivers below 21 years old, a BAC of 0.02% will already be charged with a DUI.
  • For drivers driving a commercial vehicle, a BAC of 0.04% will be charged for DWI. 

DWI vs DUI in Arkansas – What’s the difference? 

DWI is often charged to adults. DUI or Driving Under the Influence is a charge that’s given to drivers under the age of 21. 

That said, the two phrases mean the same thing. 

They can both result in consequences such as license suspension, fines, and even jail time.

Penalties for DWI in Arkansas 

Because driving while intoxicated is one of the main causes of car accidents and injuries, it comes with hefty penalties. 

And, as you might expect, the more DWI violations you commit, the more severe the penalty. 

Here’s a quick rundown of DWI penalties for adults in Arkansas: 

CategoriesFirst OffenseSecond OffenseThird Offense
Jail Time24 hours to 1 year (minimum 7 days if minor under 16 years old is present)7 days to 1 year (minimum 30 days if minor under 16 years old is present)90 days to 1 year (minimum 120 days if minor under 16 years old is present)
License Suspension6 months24 months30 months
Fines$150 to $1,000$400 to $3,000$900 to $5,000

The court may also order you to render 30 to 60 days of community service, depending on the severity of your violation. You may also need to complete an alcohol education program.

For drivers under the age of 21 and charged with a DUI, these are the penalties they will face:

CategoriesFirst OffenseSecond OffenseThird Offense
Jail TimeNoneAt least 30 daysAt least 60 days
License Suspension90 days1 year3 years or until 21 years old (whichever is longer)
Fines$100 to $500$200 to $1,000$500 to $2,000

When does a DWI become a felony in Arkansas?

If you go over a third offense, your DWI charge turns into a felony. This is punishable by up to 6 to 10 years in prison, on top of a $5,000-dollar fine

You may also be asked to render 1 to 2 years of community service. Plus, your license may be suspended for up to 4 years. 

How Many Point is a DWI in Arkansas?

Besides jail time, fines, and license suspensions, DWIs and DUIs will also add demerit points to a driver’s record. 

Drivers with DWIs or DUIs receive 14 demerit points on their driving record. 

How Long Does a DWI Stay in Your Record in Arkansas?

For a DWI, it will stay on your record for 5 years AFTER your punishment is complete. 

As for a DUI (for below 21 years old), the charge will be removed from your record right AFTER your punishment. 

Is there another way to remove it?

The only way you can remove a DWI from your record is to go to court and be found not guilty of the charge. 

What is “Implied Consent”?

As mentioned earlier, all drivers detained for a DWI in Arkansas are required to submit to a chemical or breath test under Arkansas’ “implied consent” statutes. 

The refusal of a blood, urine, or breath test can be grounds for the temporary suspension or permanent revocation of a driver’s driving privilege. 

Will I Need an Attorney for My DWI in Arkansas?

Depends on the complexity of your case. 

Most DWI and DUI charges won’t require the supervision or assistance of a qualified attorney. 

However, the more difficult cases might blow over more smoothly with one. 

A licensed attorney can help you challenge breathalyzer or urine test results. They may also help you get short-term sentences, smaller fines, and shorter license suspensions. 

What is a Restricted License in Arkansas? 

Some drivers get lucky and are provided with a restricted license instead of a complete suspension. Restricted licenses allow you to drive within a certain distance ONLY. 

For example, you may be able to drive from home to work with a restricted license. You may also drive from home to grocery stores and other essential locations. 

However, if you go out of bounds, you risk getting your restricted license revoked. 

What Happens If I Drive With a Suspended License? 

Driving with a suspended license can extend your jail time by a couple of days or months. Unless you want to spend more time behind bars, we strongly advise against driving with a suspended license. Even if it’s just to get milk from the store. 

Final Thoughts

Driving while intoxicated with alcohol or drugs is one of the most dangerous things a driver can do. It puts at risk not only his/her own life but the lives of others as well. 

Arkansas DWI laws are there to protect residents from that danger. 

Now that you know the DWI laws in Arkansas, as well as the penalties and demerits, make sure to avoid it AT ALL COST. 

Not just for the penalties, but for the safety of everyone.

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