First Offense DWI in Arkansas

Arkansas uses the term, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) to refer to adult drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08%. (DUI is used to refer to underage drivers with a BAC under .08%). The penalties for a DWI in Arkansas include both administrative action by the state licensing department, as well as criminal sentencing ordered by local courts.

Administrative Penalties

  • Administrative license suspension for first offense is typically six months in Arkansas. Hearing concerning pending license suspension may occur prior to conviction, and in turn, defendants must utilize legal counsel in contesting the impending suspension.
  • Hardship licenses or alternative suspensions may exist, but drivers will be expected to utilize ignition interlock devices for a minimum period of six months. In addition, criminal penalties may include court mandate of ignition interlock device following license suspension. All costs of device are the burden of the defendant.

Criminal Penalties

How Much Will it Cost?

To get an idea of how much a first offense DUI will cost you, see our article on the cost of a DUI.

  • First offense convictions carry minimum incarceration of twenty-four (24) hours, but mandatory incarceration may be relegated to community service in lieu of serving jail time. Maximum incarceration penalty for first offense is one (1) year.
  • Fines for first offense can range from $150 to no more than $1,000. These costs do not include costs associated with completing one’s sentence, including probation fees, ignition interlock device costs, and other surcharges and fees.
  • Offenders must undergo mandatory alcohol or substance abuse counseling, and upon conviction, may be required to attend a victim impact panel, if ordered by court.
  • Arkansas includes enhanced penalties for drivers convicted of DUI/DWI with minor present in vehicle, but state does not provide enhanced penalties for elevated or extreme BAC.

Getting Legal Help

For more information and insight, including how to obtain a favorable plea agreement in a DUI case, consult with an Arkansas DUI lawyer.

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