Be informed by getting to know the Arkansas DUI laws overviewed in the following article. Impaired driving is the act of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both. Even individuals consuming prescription drugs can be found guilty of such act if the medicine interferes with their ability to be vigilant while on the road.
Impaired drivers intoxicated with alcohol are responsible for the deaths of one person every 53 minutes in the United States. Such is the reason why the state of Arkansas takes swift action when charging and convicting those guilty of driving while drunk. It is important to note that Arkansas DUI laws vary by offense. Here is a guide to regulations in the state.
Arkansas DUI Laws
What is the Blood Alcohol Concentration Limit?
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is the test that officers use to determine if an individual is over the legal limit for alcohol consumption while operating a motor vehicle. The state of Arkansas has a legal limit of 0.08 percent BAC for individuals over the age of 21 years old. Any person with a BAC reading high then this limit, or under 21 years old where the legal BAC limit drops to 0.02 percent, is considered as driving under the influence of alcohol.
What Happens if I get Pulled Over?
Arkansas DUI laws extend to individuals under the influence parked with the keys in the ignition. A police officer has the right to ask you to submit to a BAC test if he feels that you may be intoxicated. Your ability to pass an impromptu test does not ultimately keep you from being arrested. An officer can still take you to jail if he feels that you show signs of impairment and are a danger to others on the road.
Can I Refuse the BAC Test?
Arkansas is an implied consent state, which means that you do not have the legal right to refuse a BAC test.
What Happens if I Refuse It?
Your license will automatically be suspended if you refuse to submit to a BAC test. You may also be subjected to jail time or community service. Repeat refusals come with heavier penalties.
Can I Plead “Wet Reckless”?
“Wet Reckless” is a term that legal professionals use to describe a plea arrangement that comes with more relaxed penalties. Instead of admitting to DUI, the defendant agrees that he was driving recklessly and gets away with paying less in fines and serving jail time. Arkansas DUI laws do not make room for plea bargains with intoxication cases, which means that a “wet reckless” deal is prohibited.
What Are the Penalties I Should Expect?
The severity of sanctions for DUI in Arkansas varies by offense, but the structure of consequences remain the same. You can expect to pay a fine and spend a bit of time in jail if you are found guilty of driving while intoxicated. Arkansas DUI laws stipulate jail time to be anywhere from one to 365 days for individuals with BAC levels from 0.09-1.5. The consequences get even stiffer if a minor under the age of 16 years old was in the vehicle at the time of the offense. Your license may be suspended after being charged with DUI.
First Offense DUI
Arkansas DUI laws mandate incarceration for at least 24 hours when a person is found guilty of driving while intoxicated for the first time. Maximum jail time for the first offense is one year. There is the option of exchanging incarceration for community service but fines for DUI remain solid. Financial penalties can range anywhere from $150 to $1,000. You may also be required to attend a victim impact panel, and substance abuse counseling is mandatory.
Second Offense DUI
A conviction for DUI in Arkansas a second time around is a misdemeanor. The charge becomes a felony if your actions lead to severe injury of the victim. Second offenses also come with license suspension for two years along with 24-month ignition interlock. Jail time for a second offense ranges from seven to 365 days. Fines for a conviction can cost anywhere from $400 to $3,000 plus court fees.
Third Offense DUI
Arkansas DUI laws require a third offender to have his license suspended for at least 30 months if the crime was committed within five years of the second DUI case. Incarceration ranges from 90 days to one year with a third conviction, and you will also be required to complete at least 90 days of community service. Fines for a third DUI conviction range from $900 to $5,000 notwithstanding court fees and lawyer costs.
Fourth Offense DUI
A fourth conviction for DUI comes with harsh punishment that includes one to six years in jail and fines up to $5,000. Automatic license suspension and the possibility of permanent revocation becomes more plausible than ever. Arkansas DUI law requires individuals convicted of driving while intoxicated more than three times to commit at least one year of community service. A fourth DUI conviction is a felony in the state of Arkansas.
Every case of DUI is serious, but no instance is the same. You should contact a legal professional if you are found guilty of driving while impaired and always seek professional help to rid yourself of the dangerous habit. Spread the word about Arkansas DUI laws so that others can know their rights as well.