Arkansas DWI Charges
Driving while intoxicated charges are separated into different
categories in the state of Arkansas. The first category is called a
common law driving while intoxicated charges. Under these charges the
prosecuting attorney need only prove that the individual was impaired
by alcohol consumption while driving. Impairment can also be caused by
drug usage or a combination of drug usage and alcohol consumption.
Evidence of this offense will have to be proven through the
individual's physical appearance, driving patterns, chemical testing,
and field sobriety testing. Under common law DWI charges blood alcohol
content percentage do not really need to be presented to the court.
Simply because an individual has a blood alcohol content percentage
over the legal limit does not mean that he or she is impaired.
The second category for driving while intoxicated charges and are
called the DWI per se charges. Unlike common law DWI charges, DWI per
se charges are solely based on blood alcohol content percentages.
Arkansas has an illegal blood alcohol content percentage of 0.08 or
higher. Whether or not the individual was impaired while driving does
not matter for DWI per se charges. The prosecuting attorney only needs
to prove to the court that an individual's blood alcohol content
percentage was above the legal limit for DWI per se charges to be in
Per se charges require the individual to provide a blood, urine, or
breath sample for proof in court. An individual may refuse the sample
but will be subject to driver's license suspension. The court will
assume that the sample refusal is consciousness of guilt. An individual
is allowed to decline a blood test if he or she is willing to submit to
a urine or breath test without being penalized.
Driving While Intoxicated Punishments
Punishments are based on the number of prior DWI convictions and the
circumstances of the arrest. If an accident is caused by DWI or minors
are present in the car, the charges will increase no matter the number
of prior offenses. A first-time DWI offense can earn jail time between
one day and three hundred sixty-five days with a fine between one
hundred fifty and one thousand dollars.
Public service can be added and court cost will give an addition amount
of three hundred dollars. A second-time offense can include a fine
between four hundred and three thousand dollars along with jail time
between seven days and one year or thirty days of community service.
A third-time offense includes a fine between nine hundred and five
thousand dollars along with a jail term between ninety days and one
year or ninety days of community service. A fourth-time offense can
include imprisonment between one year and six years with third-time
offense fines. A fifth-time offense can include felony charges of
incarceration between two years and ten years with third-time offense
fines as well as an ignition interlock requirements.
Any subsequent offense will be punished by fifth-time offenses.
Driver's license suspension will be included with all charges and range
from one hundred twenty days of suspension to a complete license
DWI and Minors
Minors charged with DWI offenses will be subject to license suspension
though juvenile court of federal court.