If you were arrested in Arkansas for DWI, an officer believed that you were operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol and/or drug(s) to the extent that your motor skills, mental faculties and reaction times were substantially impaired. Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater is considered per se, or automatically, driving while intoxicated.
When you are arrested for an Arkansas DWI, two separate cases start. There is the criminal court case, which determines fines, jail time, community service, and other similar items. There is also the administrative side with the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration – Office of Motor Vehicle, which determines your licensing status.
IMPORTANT: ARKANSAS LAW STATES THAT YOU HAVE 7 DAYS FROM YOUR ARREST FOR YOUR ATTORNEY TO REQUEST A DRIVER’S LICENSE HEARING WITH THE OFFICE OF MOTOR VEHICLES. It is crucial that you or your attorney schedules this hearing to avoid further problems with your driver’s license.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ARKANSAS DWI AND AN ARKANSAS DUI?
Arkansas is one of the few states that differentiates between a DUI and a DWI. A DUI and DWI in Arkansas have two separate and distinct meanings. The difference is basically your age. If you are under 21 years of age, you may be charged with either a DWI or a DUI. If you are under 21, and your blood alcohol content is .08 or above, you will likely be charged with DWI. If you are under 21, and your blood alcohol was .02 or above but less than .08, you may be charged with DUI, driving under the influence. If you are 21 or older, you cannot be charged with DUI.
In Arkansas, a DWI is someone who is substantially impaired while driving and a DUI is someone who is impaired even to “the slightest scale.” If you are under 21 and have been charged with DWI, the law prohibits the prosecutor or the judge from reducing the charge to a DUI.
ARKANSAS DWI PENALTIES
If you are convicted of Arkansas DWI charges, you can expect to pay substantial fines and be subject to various penalties (depending on the circumstances) including 24 hours to 1 year of jail time. If you are convicted of your first Arkansas DWI, you could be fined thousands of dollars! If your Breath/Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is .15 or higher, or if you were driving with a minor in the vehicle, the DWI fines and charges are quite harsh! If convicted of your first DWI you may also be required to complete community service in lieu of jail time, and be subjected to the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. Your first Arkansas DWI can also result in probation.
ARKANSAS DWI LAWYER
Arkansas DWI attorneys defend DWI offenses and drunk driving cases in Arkansas. A good Arkansas DWI attorney or criminal defense attorney will be able to assist you with the two separate cases that you’re facing and offer DWI defense strategies. They will be able to handle both the criminal DWI charges and the administrative case with the Office of Motor Vehicles regarding a license suspension or revocation.