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What is a DUI and DWI in Arkansas?

In the State of Arkansas, a person is guilty of a Driving Under Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) when such person is impaired to the extent that the driver’s reaction, motor skills and judgments are substantially altered, and therefore poses as a danger of physical Injury or death to himself and other road users. In other words, a DUI or DWI is driving under the condition of impairment that can be caused by an intoxicating liquor or a controlling drugs or substance, which is a serious traffic offense in the state. DUI Offenders are tried by the Circuit Courts for the criminal offense of endangering another person’s life. The Department of Motor Vehicle is responsible for imposing penalties for committing a traffic offense.

What is the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI in Arkansas?

Theoretically, there is a difference between a DUI and a DWI in Arkansas. A DUI is used to refer to a juvenile driver who is intoxicated to a point of impairment. Meanwhile, DWI is used to refer to an adult driver who is intoxicated to a point of impairment. Practically, DUI or DWI implies that the driver is;

  • Driving under the influence of a controlled substance or intoxicants
  • Driving while intoxicated with an alcoholic beverage or liquor
  • Driving under the influence of the combination of a controlled substance and an alcoholic liquor
  • Driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or minor
  • Driving as a minor with a BAC of 0.02% or more

What Happens When You Get a DUI for the First Time in Arkansas?

Once a person is arrested for a DUI, this happens after the sobriety test proves the person is intoxicated, the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) in Arkansas immediately revokes the license of such offender. To get a reinstatement of license for which a restricted license is given, an offender has to request a DMV hearing within seven days of arrest to avoid an automatic suspension of driver’s license. Failure to submit to the chemical test will increase the suspension of the driver’s license to 180 days. A BAC level below 0.15 may also reduce the suspension period of the license.

Getting a DUI for the first time might likely cost an offender a fine of at least $150 but not more than $1,000 including $300 court cost. A person found guilty of DUI might get up to one year jail sentence but not less than 24 hours. In general, the penalty depends on the nature and the damage caused by driving while intoxicated. In order to completely avoid a jail sentence or public service, an offender can decide to be defensive. Some of the defenses that can be used in a trial court are;

  • Sobriety check mistake committed by officer
  • Biological conditions that makes a person’s BAC level go higher than the legal level
  • Medical condition

How Likely is Jail Time After a First DUI in Arkansas?

After the first DUI, there is an increased possibility of jail time which increases with the number of DUI convictions. A second time offender will likely face at least 7 days jail time and at most one year. A third time offender will most likely get at least 90 days jail time but not more than one year jail time. A fourth time offender is sentenced to a state prison for at least one year and at most six years. The fifth offender who is a habitual offender will be sentenced to at least two years but not more than ten years in a state prison.

What are the Typical Penalties for a DWI Conviction in Arkansas?

Several factors determine the penalty that is finally imposed on an offender; the severity of damage caused by a DUI offender, the number of convictions, and the offender’s refusal to submit to the chemical test, Etc. The typical penalties for a DWI conviction in Arkansas, according to the number of convictions, are;

  • First time offender; The jail sentence of a first-time offender is at least twenty four hours and at most one year. Alternatively, the court may decide to impose public service in place of jail time. A first time offender may be fined $150, but not more than $1,000, including a $300 court cost. Such an offender gets a license suspension for six months or a restricted license for the suspension period.
  • Second-time offender; The jail time is between 7 days and one year jail time or public service in place of the jail time. A second-time offender will be made to pay at least $400 but not more than $3,000. A 24 months license suspension is inevitably followed by installing the (IID) restricted license for the suspension period.
  • Third time offender; A third offense is a DUI committed for the third time within five years of the first offense. The jail sentence is not less than 90 days but not more than one year of jail time. The court can also order public service in place of the jail sentence. A fine of up to $900 but not more than $5,000 is imposed for a third offense. The offender gets a 30months suspension of driver’s license.
  • Fourth time offender; An offender convicted for DUI for the fourth time within five years is charged with a felony. For a fourth offense, an offender is sentenced for at least one year and, at most, six years in state prison. Such an offender’s vehicle is impounded for three years and the driver’s license revoked for four years.
  • Fifth-time offender; The fifth offense within five years will lead an offender to a jail sentence in state prison for at least two years and ten years. A fine of at least $900 but not more than $5,000. The driver’s license of the offender is revoked for four years, and the vehicle impounded for three years

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Arkansas?

DUI offense for the first to the third time is considered a misdemeanor in Arkansas. DUI of a first to third offender stays on the driving record for five years after the completion of sentencing. The criminal records can also be expunged after five years of sentencing.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How do I Find DUI Checkpoints in Arkansas?

To find a DUI checkpoint, it is necessary to ascertain the legality. DUI checkpoints in Arkansas are legal but they can be illegal if the officers in charge do not abide by the procedure. For instance, a DUI checkpoint can be illegal if;

  • There is no established standard or protocol to follow in conducting the checkpoint
  • The decision to institute a roadblock was made by field officers
  • The checkpoint operates to stop all on-coming traffic, such that it interferes with legitimate traffic.

DUI checkpoints in Arkansas can be found online using search engines.

Which is Worse; a DUI or DWI in Arkansas?

DUI is the same as DWI; the only difference between the terms in Arkansas is contextual. DUI is used when charging an underage person, while DWI is used when charging an adult. In practical terms drunk driving or driving under the influence of controlled drugs are treated in the same way and the same penalty is applicable for both.

What is an Aggravated DWI in Arkansas?

In the State of Arkansas, the following make up for an aggravated DWI;

  • Driving While Intoxicated with minors in the vehicle
  • Having subsequent convictions after the first DUI conviction
  • First DUI that results in a severe physical injury or death of another person.

What Happens When You Get a DWI in Arkansas?

A person who gets a DWI can either enter a plea bargain or defend the charge. Unfortunately the plea of bargain statute of Arkansas does not allow for a reduction in sentencing as a result of an admission of guilt. A very good defense can produce a case dismissal, or at worse, a reduced sentencing that results in a public service instead of jail time.

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