In the State of Arkansas, it is considered drunk driving when you have a BAC, or blood alcohol content of 0.08; however if you are under 21 years of age it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.02 or higher. If you are caught drinking and driving, you will be arrested and charged with a DUI; however, the penalties associated with this charge vary according to your past criminal record and if it is your first DUI offense. The following information is accurate as of 2011; however, always talk to your attorney and review the most current laws by visiting the Sources section at the end of this article.
Arkansas First DUI Offense:
The first time you are charged with a DUI, you may have to face 24 hours to one year in jail or perform up to one year of community service. If you have a minor 16 years or younger in the car, then you may face a minimum of 7 days jail time to one year.
The fine associated with an Arkansas DUI first offense can range from $150.00 to $1,000.00. Of course, your license will be suspended for up to six months. Depending on your criminal record and past convictions, you may be required to undergo an alcohol treatment or education program, which may require you to pay up to a $125.00. You will also be required to attend a victim impact panel to learn about how drunk driving accidents have altered the lives of family and friends.
Arkansas Second DUI Offense:
The second time you are convicted of a DUI in Arkansas you may be required to spend seven days to one year in jail; community service will not be an option. If you have a minor 16 years or younger in the vehicle with you, the jail time is increased to a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of one year.
You can expect to pay a fine of $400 to over $3,000 for a second DUI offense, and your driver’s license will be suspended for up to 24 months. You also may be required to have an Ignition Interlock system in your car up to 45 days proceeding your license suspension.
Arkansas Third DUI Offense:
With a third DUI offense, you will face jail time from 90 days to one year and if there is a minor in the vehicle, the sentencing may increase from a minimum of 120 days in jail. The fine associated with a third DUI offense ranges from $900 to $5,000, which doesn’t include court costs and lawyer fees. Your license may be suspended for up to 30 months and you may be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device for one year after you get your license back.
You will also be required to serve a minimum of 90 days of community service, or 120 days if there was a minor 16 years old or younger. You may also be required to complete an alcohol treatment or education program and attend the victim impact panel.
Any other DUI offenses carry heft penalties, and is considered a felony offense. You may face up to six years in prison and a license suspension of four years; however, this is all dependent on your current criminal record.
Driving Laws: Drunk Driving Penalties and Fines in Arkansas