Things to Know About DUI and DWI Laws in Arkansas

In the state of Arkansas, driving while intoxicated can come with hefty penalties and fines. A qualified attorney can help you contest your case or reduce your sentence.

In the state of Arkansas, driving while intoxicated can come with hefty penalties at any age. A charge of DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated, is usually a term applied to an adult driver with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of 0.08 or higher. By contrast, a charge of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) can be applied to a person under the age of 21 who is driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. The two terms are often used interchangeably, however, and they can lead to penalties including loss of license, fines, and/or jail time.

Do I Need an Attorney?

Complex DUI charges often require a lawyer. It is heavily encouraged by the court that you seek counsel. You do always have the right to represent yourself, but a defense attorney can help you challenge breathalyzer or blood test results, reduce or eliminate penalties, and help you get your license back.

BAC Limits in Arkansas

If a person is pulled over in Arkansas with a BAC of .08 or higher, they are driving intoxicated. This law is called a “Per se” BAC limit DWI law, which means no other evidence is required for a DWI conviction. For a person under the age of 21, the BAC is .02. This is called a Zero Tolerance law.

Implied Consent

Implied Consent is the notion that every active driver in the state of Arkansas has consented to be tested for alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substances before getting behind the wheel of their vehicle. If a blood, breath, or urine test is refused, it can be grounds for the suspension of driving privileges.


In the state of Arkansas, the penalties for drunk driving become steadily harsher when you are convicted of the crime multiple times, or when you are found to be significantly more inebriated, or when you endanger the life of a minor.

First-time offenders face imprisonment of up to one year, a fine between $150 to $1000, and a suspended license for 120 days. However, if the first-time offender has a passenger under the age of 16, a mandatory seven days must be served in jail. Furthermore, if the first-time offender is found to have a BAC of more than .15, their license will be suspended for 180 days. In both cases, the license suspension may instead be replaced with an ignition interlock to prevent further violations.


A qualified attorney can significantly improve your chances of a dismissal, deferment, or reduced sentence. Call Natural State Law, PLLC today at (501) 916-2878 for a consultation.