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DUI Questions & Answers

What is a DUI in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, DUI is basically a zero tolerance DWI for anyone under the age of 21.

The law states: It is unlawful for any underage person to operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or similar intoxicant.

It is unlawful for any underage person to operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle if at that time there was an alcohol concentration 0.02 but less than 0.08 in the person’s breath or blood.


Is under the influence for DUI different than for DWI?

Yes. “Influence” for the purposes of the DUI statute means being affected by the ingestion of alcohol or similar intoxicant, or any combination thereof, to a degree that the driver’s reactions, motor skills, and judgment are altered or diminished, even to the slightest scale, and the underage driver, therefore, constitutes a danger of physical injury or death to himself and other motorists or pedestrians.  For a DWI, there must be substantial impairment of the driver’s reactions, motor skills, and judgment.  


What are the penalties for DUI?

1st Offense

Fines:  $100-$500

Classes:  Alcohol Education Classes and MADD Victim Impact Panel

Driver’s License:  DL suspended for 90 days

2nd Offense

Fines:  $200-$1,000

Classes:  Alcohol Education Classes and MADD Victim Impact Panel

Driver’s License:  DL suspended for 1 year.

Community Service:  No less than 30 days

3rd Offense

Fines:  $500-$2000

Classes:  Alcohol Education Classes and MADD Victim Impact Panel

Driver’s License:  DL Revocation for 3 years or until minor reaches 21 years old, whichever in longer

Community Service:  No less than 60 days


Can I get a DWI if I am under 21?

Yes, you can.  You may be charged with a DWI if your BAC is .08 or greater, or if you are operating or in actual physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated.


How long do the Courts look back when determining if this is a 1st or subsequent DWI or DUI?

The Courts will look back five years.


Is the look back period five years from when I got my first dwi or five years from when I plead guilty?

Enhancement for prior DWIs and DUIs during the 5 year look back period are determined from the date the violations occurred rather than the date of conviction.


Can a prior DWI be used to enhance a DUI?

Yes, a prior DWI can be used to enhance a DUI.


Can a prior DUI be used to enhance a prior DWI?

No, under Arkansas law, a DUI cannot be used to enhance a DWI.  For example, if you get a DUI when you are 19 and then get another DUI when you are 20, it will be a DUI-2.  But if you then get a DWI when you are 21, that will be a DWI-1, and the DUIs will not be used to enhance the DWI to a DWI-2 or DWI-3.

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