What to Expect if You're Convicted of a 3rd DUI/DWI in Arkansas

The criminal and administrative penalties for a Third DUI/DWI conviction in Arkansas.

In Arkansas, a third DWI (also called "DUI") is a misdemeanor but still carries fairly serious penalties, which can be substantially more severe than those for a first or second conviction.

This article explains Arkansas DUI law and the penalties you'll be looking at for a third DWI conviction.

Arkansas's DWI Law

Arkansas's DWI (driving while intoxicated) laws prohibit operating or having actual physical control of a vehicle or motorboat while intoxicated or having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater. A driver can be in "actual physical control" of a vehicle without being in motion: simply having the ability to exert control over the vehicle is sufficient for a conviction.

What's Considered a Third DWI in Arkansas

If the driver has two prior DWI convictions within the last ten years, a new charge is considered a third offense (the lookback period is five years for license penalties). DUI convictions that occurred in other states are counted.

Criminal Penalties for Third DWI in Arkansas

Jail Time for a 3rd DWI in Arkansas

A third-offense DWI carries at least 90 days imprisonment with a maximum sentence of one year in jail. This minimum jail sentence is increased to 120 days in jail if the driver had a passenger who was under 16 years old in the car. However, the court can—for "good cause"—order community service in lieu of jail time. If ordered, the offender must perform 90 days of community service (or 120 days if a passenger was under the age of 16 was in the vehicle).

Fines for a 3rd DWI in Arkansas

A person who's convicted of a third-offense DWI faces $900 to $5,000 in fines. In addition to fines, the judge may require the motorist to pay a variety of fees and treatment costs. (The court has the option of ordering increased public service work in lieu of a fine if the defendant is indigent.)

Substance Abuse Treatment Requirements for Arkansas DWI Offenders

Prior to sentencing, the convicted motorist must complete a drug and alcohol evaluation at the Arkansas Department of Human Services. The judge can then consider the evaluation report in determining how to sentence the defendant.

License-Related Consequences of a Third DWI in Arkansas

When a person is arrested for a DWI, the officer seizes the person's license and issues a temporary driving permit. Once the temporary permit expires, the driver's license is usually suspended for 30 months if the driver has two prior DWI suspensions or convictions in the last five years.

During this suspension period, the licensee may qualify for a restricted license. Depending on the circumstances, an ignition interlock device may be a requirement of the restricted license.

Convicted drivers are additionally required to complete an alcohol education or treatment program at the Department of Human Services. Unless found not guilty of the DWI, the driver must complete the required program before being eligible for license reinstatement.

Arkansas Third Underage DWI

Motorists who are under the age of 21 at the time of arrest can be convicted of an "underage DWI" for driving while under the influence of alcohol or an intoxicant or having a BAC of .02% or greater (but less than .08%). An underage DWI conviction will subject the driver to:

  • a three-year license revocation (the person will be unable to drive or obtain a license for three years or until 21 years old)
  • a fine of $500 to $2,000
  • 60 days public service work,
  • having to complete an accredited alcohol education program.

However, the specific penalties might vary depending on the circumstances.

Fourth or Subsequent DWI in Arkansas

A fourth or subsequent DWI is a felony in Arkansas. Anyone convicted of a felony DWI is looking at a four-year license revocation (without the possibility of a restricted license) and the possibility of spending multiple years incarcerated.

Talk to an Arkansas DWI Attorney

The consequences of a DWI conviction in Arkansas are severe. If you've been arrested for driving under the influence, get in touch with a qualified DUI attorney.

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