DUI & DWI in Arkansas
Be responsible when drinking alcohol. If you drink, don't drive; if you drive, don't drink. Appoint, or volunteer to be, a designated driver.
Being aware of how alcohol and drugs affect your driving is important for your safety. When you don't drink responsibly, you can be arrested for DUI/DWI or even worse, you might be involved in a crash.
Blood Alcohol Content
A police officer may pull you over for DUI or DWI if you are not accelerating smoothly, stop abruptly, weave out of your lane, or drive dangerously. The most common test for alcohol is the blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
In Arkansas, if you are old enough to legally drink (21 years old) then you will be charged with DWI if you have 0.08% BAC or over. For drivers younger than 21 years old, the BAC limit drops to 0.02% BAC.
The BAC limit for commercial drivers is 0.04% and carries serious consequences, particularly if you are driving a commercial vehicle when you are arrested.
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Drugs and DWI
Your driver fitness is also affected by medicines and drugs. Some medications, prescription or over-the-counter, can affect your driving. If you take drugs and drink alcohol, you could become sleepy, disoriented, or have trouble seeing.
Read the warnings and interactions accompanying all medicines to determine whether your driving will be impaired.
Using illegal drugs, like marijuana or methamphetamines, can be dangerous. Your reaction time, senses, and judgment are all affected when you take drugs and then get behind the wheel.
Refusing a Chemical Test in Arkansas
When you applied for an Arkansas driver's license, you agreed to comply with the Implied Consent Law. This means a law enforcement officer can test you for drugs and/or alcohol during a traffic stop if you are suspected of driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol (DWI).
If you are stopped and refuse a chemical test you will automatically have your license suspended by the Department of Finance and Administration. A 1st offense chemical test refusal will have your license suspended for 180 days. Subsequent offenses increase the time of suspension.
DUI and DWI Penalties
In addition to any criminal charges for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs you will also face penalties from the Department of Finance and Administration. These penalties come in the form of Administrative driver's license suspension. This suspension is separate from any criminal charges and can only be challenged by requesting an administrative hearing within 7 days of receiving a notice of suspension from law enforcement. If you do not request a hearing your license will be suspended 30 days from the date you received the notice. The length of your suspension is determined by the number of offenses:
1st DWI/DUI: License suspended for 6 months.
2nd DWI Within 5 Years: License suspended for 2 years.
3rd DWI Within 5 Years: License suspended for 30 months.
4th DWI Within 5 Years: Permanent license revocation.
You may also be required to complete an approved drug and alcohol education or treatment program. Any program you are required to take must be completed before you apply to have your license reinstated.
- Complete either an approved drug and alcohol education course, or an approved alcohol and/or drug treatment program for each offense.
- Pay a $150 per offense reinstatement fee. (DFA online payment).
Once you are reinstated, you must keep a clean record to avoid accumulating administrative points. For any additional information on DWI or driver's license reinstatement contact the Office of Driver Control at (501) 682-1631.