Arkansas DUI 101
Arkansas DUI laws are in place to keep reckless and intoxicated drivers off the road in the Natural State.
Arkansas DUI Levels
According to Arkansas DUI laws, if a chemical test reveals that a driver over the age of 21 has a blood alcohol concentration at or above .08 percent, the driver is guilty of driving under the influence. Drivers under the age of 21 should not have a blood alcohol level of .02 or greater. Commercial drivers and bus drivers cannot drive with a blood alcohol level of greater than .10.
A first DUI offense in Arkansas will result in a fine ranging from $150 to $1,000, depending on the severity of the offense. In addition, a six-month license suspension will be enforced, alongside a jail sentence or community service sentence of up to a year.
A second conviction calls for a fine ranging from $400 to $3,000. Another jail sentence or community service sentence of up to a year will be required, as well as a license suspension period of 24 months.
A third DUI results in a fine ranging from $900 to $5,000. 90 days of community service will be enforced. In addition, the offender must enroll in a substance abuse program.
A fourth conviction is considered a felony. While the fine remains in the same range as the third DUI, the jail time penalty will range from one to six years. More time in a substance abuse program is also a likely penalty.
While these are the basic penalty guidelines, additional consequences may be enforced. For example, if a child under the age of 16 is a passenger in the car, more jail time will be added to the offender’s sentence. Other factors that may result in an increased penalty include injuring other motorists in an accident or having a blood alcohol level that exceeds .20. Also, commercial drivers who frequently break DUI laws are putting their jobs at risk.
Refusing to take the chemical test on a first offense will result in license suspension of up to 180 days. Refusing the test during additional offenses will result in lengthier suspension terms.
DUI offenders may obtain hardship licenses, which allow them to drive to and from places such as work and school. However, multiple offenses may decrease one’s chances of being approved for a hardship license. For example, a four-time offender cannot receive a hardship license at all. Visit the local Department of Motor Vehicles to inquire about how to obtain a hardship license.
Arkansas is home to multiple DUI offender programs and alcohol abuse treatment programs, including the following:
- Drug Alcohol Safety Education Program
- Quapaw House Inc.
- Gateway House Inc.
- Recovery Centers of Arkansas
- BCD Hoover Center
Depending on the severity of the DUI offense or based on multiple DUI convictions, a judge may order a driver to participate in a program. The price and length of the programs vary. For example, the Drug Alcohol Safety Education Program is $150 for 10 hours of instruction. Arkansas DUI offenders will be responsible for covering the costs of the programs.