Drivers on Arkansas' roads must be fully sober and able to operate the vehicle. When a driver is impaired, there is a chance that they will face criminal charges. These are serious matters because the penalties are strict. For almost all circumstances, finding another way home is a better idea so that you don't have to risk driving drunk.
There are two legal limits that you need to know if you are a noncommercial driver. People who haven't yet turned 21, the legal limit is .02 percent. For drivers over 21, the limit is .08 percent. These are determined by using a test to find out the blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
When you are pulled over, you are subject to the implied consent law. This means that you must take the chemical test that the officer asks you to take. If you refuse, you can face penalties based on that refusal.
Arkansas law sets two types of penalties for people who are caught driving drunk. You can face both types in connection with a single incident. Administrative penalties, including a driver's license suspension, can happen. Criminal penalties, which can include time in jail, fines, community service and probation, are also possible. Here are some of the administrative and criminal penalties you might face:
- First offense: Six-month license suspension, up to a year in prison or 60 days of community service, $3,000 fine
- Second offense: Twenty-four-month license suspension, up to a year in prison or 60 days of community service, $3,000 fine
- Third offense: Thirty-month license suspension, up to a year in prison or 90 days of community service, $5,000 fine
- Fourth offense: Four-year license suspension, up to six years in prison or one-year of community service, $5,000 fine
- Fifth offense: Up to 10 years in prison or two years of community service, $5,000 fine
It is possible that some individuals might qualify for a restricted license instead of a license suspension. The use of an ignition interlock is required for this and the locations you can drive are limited. You need work on your defense quickly since some options are time sensitive.