Arkansas State Delegates

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DUI Laws

Summary of Arkansas Impaired Driving Statutes.

COMMON ACRONYM(S) USED TO DESCRIBE “DRUNK DRIVING”: 
DWI refers to any person who is intoxicated or who is driving with a blood/ breath alcohol concentration of .08 or above; DUI describes an underaged driver (any person under 21) who isinfluenced by alcohol or similar intoxicant or who has a blood/breath alcohol concentration of .02 but less than .08.

PROHIBITED VEHICULAR ACTIVITY: 
“to operate or be in actual physical control”

COVERED VEHICLES OR DEVICES:
any “motor vehicle” – including but not limited to golf carts, riding lawn mowers, and ATVs.

COVERED LOCATIONS:
Anywhere in the state  – including private parking lots, off-road trails, and other areas where a driver’s license is not required.

DEGREE OF IMPAIRMENT REQUIRED FOR CONVICTION OF DRIVING WHILE “INTOXICATED”:
Impairment “to such a degree that the driver’s reactions, motor skills, and judgment are substantially altered, and the driver, therefore, constitutes a clear and substantial danger of physical injury or death to himself and other motorists or pedestrians.” See Ark. Code Anno. § 5-65-102(1).

 

BAC/BrAC (BLOOD OR BREATH ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION) REQUIRED FOR CONVICTION OF DWI ( EVEN IF NOT INTOXICATED) – PER SE OFFENSE:

Eight grams or more of alcohol per 100 cubic centimeters of blood or 210 liters of breath (.08 or more).

 

PENALTIES FOR DWI:
(1) For first offense: 24-hour to 1-year jail sentence (Public service may be ordered in lieu of jail.); $150 to $1,000 fine, plus $300 court cost; six months license suspension beginning one month following date of arrest, during which time an ignition interlock restricted license is available if there was no refusal to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test following arrest.  A restricted driving permit is available during suspension if intoxicated by a controlled substance. The license suspension is set aside if found not guilty.  Increased penalty if there is a passenger under 16 years of .age.

(2) For second offense within 5-year period: 7-day to 1-year jail sentence (Public service may be ordered in lieu of jail.); $400 to $3,000 fine; 24-month license suspension.  The ignition interlock restricted license is available immediately.  A work permit is available with the restricted interlock license. Increased penalties if there is a passenger under 16 years of age.

(3) For third offense within 5-year period: 90-day to 1-year jail sentence (Public service may be ordered in lieu of jail.); $900 to $5,000 fine; 30-month license suspension. The ignition interlock restricted license is not available for first 45 days of suspension.  A work permit is available with the restricted interlock license. Increased penalty if there is a passenger under 16.

(4) For fourth offense within 5-year period (a felony): 1-year to 6-year prison term (Public service may be ordered in lieu of jail.); $900 to $5,000 fine; 4-year license revocation (with no restricted permits); forfeiture of vehicle if within a 3-year period. Increased minimum penalty if there is a passenger under 16 years of age. No restricted permits.

 

(5) For fifth or subsequent offense within 5-year period (a felony): 2-year to 10-year prison term (Public service may be ordered in lieu of jail.); $900 to $5,000 fine; 4-year license revocation (with no restricted permits); forfeiture of vehicle if fourth offense within a 3-year period. Increased minimum penalty if there is a passenger under 16 years of age. No restricted permits.

 

EXPUNGEMENT:

Misdemeanor conviction for DWI (1st, 2nd, or 3rd offense) may be expunged after five years following completion of sentence. (Effective July 27, 2011)

 

IMPLIED CONSENT LAW: 
[Ark. Code Anno. §§ 5-65-202, et seq.]

(1) Tests Permitted: Blood, breath or urine test as determined by law enforcement agency, except that blood test requires consent. Urine test not to be used unless others unavailable.

(2) Type of advisement required: Right to additional test at own expense.  The officer must advise you of this right in writing and assist you in obtaining such a test and the fact that law enforcement will reimburse you for the cost of the additional test if you are found not guilty.

(3) Penalties for refusal: $100 fine and driver’s license suspension for 180 days for the first offense; ignition interlock restricted license is available if arrested for alcohol consumption but not for controlled substance; suspension for two years for 2nd offense within 5 years; revocation for three years for 3rd offense within 5 years; no restricted permit available; lifetime revocation for the 4thoffense within 5 years.

(4) Admissibility of refusal: Admissible in DWI/DUI case to prove consciousness of guilt. See Spicer v. State, 32 Ark. App. 209, 799 S.W. 2d 562 (1990).

 

DEGREE OF IMPAIRMENT REQUIRED FOR CONVICTION OF DUI:

[Ark. Code Anno. § 5-65-302(1)]

“controlled or affected . . . to such a degree that the driver’s reactions, motor skills, and judgment are altered or diminished, even to the slightest degree,” and he or she, therefore, “constitutes a danger of physical injury or death to himself or herself and other motorists or pedestrians.”

 

PENALTIES FOR DUI:

(1) For first offense: $100 to $500 fine and community service90 day driver’s license suspension; For refusal of test: $100 to $500 fine and 90 day driver’s license suspension. 

 

(2) For second offense: $200 to $1000 fine and 30 days minimum community service; one year driver’s license suspension; For refusal of test: $200 to $1000 fine and one year driver’s license suspension. 

 

(3) For third offense: $500 to $2000 fine and 60 days minimum community service; revocation of driver’s license for 3 years or until age of 21, whichever is longer;  For refusal of test: $500 to $2000 fine and revocation of driver’s license for 3 years or until age of 21, whichever is longer.

 

STATUTORY DRINKING-DRIVING PRESUMPTIONS: 
[Ark. Code Anno. § 5-65-206(a)]

(1) BAC of .04 percent or less – The person is presumed not under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

(2) BAC of more that .04 percent but less than .08 percent – No presumption but admissible evidence.

CHEMICAL TEST LAWS: 
[Ark. Code Anno. §§ 5-65-204, 206, 207]

(1) General provisions: Chemical test must be performed by a person having a valid permit and in accordance with methods approved by the State Board of Health and the State Department of Health. Breath test must be performed on a machine or instrument that is constructed so that the breath analysis is made and displayed automatically, without adjustment by the operator. The Intoximeter machine is in use in Arkansas.

(2) Administrative rules & regulations: Adopted by Department of Health and Board of Health.

(3) Disclosure of test information: Full information must be provided to person tested or attorney upon request.

INDEPENDENT TEST STATUTE: 
The person tested may have a physician or other qualified person of his or her choice administer a chemical test in addition to the police test. The law enforcement officer must advise the person of this right in writing, and a failure to do so or to permit and assist the person in obtaining such a test, precludes the admission into evidence of the police test. See Ark. Code Anno. § 5-65-204(e).

PLEA BARGAINING STATUTE:A person arrested for DWI (Ark. Code Anno. § 5-65-103) must be tried on such charges, and the charges may not be reduced. See Ark. Code Anno. § 5-65-107.

 

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