DWI laws vary among states. In Arkansas, driving while intoxicated can get you severe penalties, especially if you get multiple charges. The penalties for breaking DWI laws in Arkansas include community service, jail time, and points in the driving record. You will also have to pay fines and court fees. This article will cover everything regarding DWI in Arkansas.
What Is a DWI under Arkansas State?
According to the DWI laws in Arkansas, you can get charged if your blood alcohol content is over 0.8 percent. This only applies to people above the legal drinking age. If you are below 21 years, you can get arrested for DWI if your blood alcohol content is above 0.02 percent. Commercial drivers have to maintain their blood alcohol content under 0.04 percent.
DWI charges are not limited to alcohol consumption. You might also get charged for driving under the influence of drugs such as marijuana. Some medications can also affect your judgment, reaction time, and alertness. It is important to always read the warning labels on your medications to make sure they will not affect your driving.
What Happens If I get Pulled Over?
If you get pulled over by law enforcement officers, you need to find a safe place to stop. Then, you need to stop and turn off your car. You should only get out of the vehicle when the officer asks you to. When talking to the officer, your hands should be on the wheel, and all shades and hats should be taken off.
Can I Refuse the Tests?
As per the DWI laws in Arkansas, any law enforcement officer has the right to stop you and test your BAC either through a breathalyzer or an actual blood test.
It is important to remember that you are covered by the Fifth Amendment, meaning you have the right to stay silent and not say anything that might incriminate you. That said, you need to be respectful to the police officers since acting out can get you in trouble. Just remember not to give out any unnecessary details such as the number of drinks you have had or where you have been.
What Happens if I Decline to Take the Test?
If you fail to take the test, you might end up losing your license. Normally, the license is suspended for 180 days, but future offenses will increase the suspension time. In some cases, declining to take the test will earn you a less severe punishment than getting another DWI charge.
Also, failing to take the test does not necessarily help you escape a DWI charge. The charges can still be based on field sobriety tests, evidence collected from the scene, and eyewitness reports. Also, the officer who stopped you can give their judgment on your sobriety level.
What Are the Penalties I Should Expect?
Your refusal of the test might result in the loss of your license and can be used against you in a possible trial.
What Happens If I Have a Child Passenger?
Getting arrested with a child in the car will significantly increase your penalties. The DWI laws in Arkansas define a child as anyone under the age of 16. An ordinary DWI offense can be classified as a misdemeanor. However, with children in the car, the case will be a felony. Such a charge will leave you with a criminal record, meaning you will not be able to work or live in certain places.
Your lawyer will also have a harder case to deal with if you get a DWI charge with children in the car.
First Offense DWI
The first offense DWI may result in one year of incarceration. You may be ordered to do public service instead of imprisonment. Also, you will have to pay a minimum fine of $100. You may get 14 points on your record, and a 120-day license suspension. Lastly, you may pay $300 in court fees.
Second Offense DWI
The second offense DWI carries significantly more severe penalties. You may get imprisoned for between 7 days and one year, and also engage in community service for 30 days. The fine for a second offense DWI ranges between $400 and $3,000. The charge will add an extra 14 points to your driving record, and your license will get suspended for two years.
As long as you submit to a test, you will be able to make an application for a Restricted Permit and Ignition Interlock. This option will be available after one year.
Third Offense DWI
For the third offense, you will have to face jail time for a minimum of 90 days. Jail time can go up to 6 years for this charge. Besides, you will have to pay a fine of between $900 and $5,000. You may also have to do community service for 90 days. The charge will increase an extra 14 points to your driving record.
Your license will be revoked for 30 months. The driver has the option of applying for a Restricted Permit after a year, although this means they will have to submit to a test.
Fourth Offense DWI
In Arkansas, the fourth offense DWI is treated as a felony and can result in prison time that ranges from one to six years. The fine for this charge can be anything between $900 and $5,000. Also there will be a four-year license suspension. If you don’t submit to a test, there will be a lifetime license suspension. You may also have to spend a year doing community service.
DWI laws in Arkansas involve serious charges. A police officer in Arkansas has the right to stop you when they suspect you of drunk driving. You may have to take a breathalyzer test or go through an actual blood test so that the officer determines your blood alcohol content. The charges get more severe with subsequent charges. Also, charges are more serious for drivers who had children in their vehicles at the time of the arrest. It is important to educate yourself on the DWI laws in Arkansas to stay safe.
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