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 effect.
Arkansas DWI Arrests
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 revoking.
Arkansas DWI and Minors
Minors charged with DWI offenses will be subject to license suspension though juvenile court of federal court.