Pulled Over For DWI in Arkansas? Keep These Tips in Mind

Kevin M. Lemley

Steps to Take if You’ve Been Pulled Over for a DUI in Arkansas

Lonoke County may be “dry,” but DWI laws still apply here. Seeing flashlights in your rearview mirror is always nerve-wracking, especially if the police accuse you of being intoxicated. Here are three tips to keep in mind if the police pull you over for a DWI in the Cabot area.

1. You Can Refuse a Field Sobriety Test

Many drivers don’t know this, but the law does not require you to do a field sobriety or roadside test. It’s in your best interest to refuse.. These tests are designed for you to fail, and many people fail even when they are perfectly sober.

Don’t mistakenly think that you can “prove” your sobriety by acing a roadside test. Field tests exist for one reason: for the cop to come up with evidence to arrest you..

2. You Don’t Have to Answer Any Questions

A routine traffic stop starts with the police asking you several questions:

  • Do you know why I pulled you over?
  • Have you been drinking?
  • Where are you going?

State law does not obligate you to answer any of these or other questions. Remain polite yet firm in your desire to stay silent after the police stop you. Reply with, “Officer. I do not wish to answer any questions. Am I free to go?

As the driver, you do need to comply with the police’s request to see your driver’s license, insurance, and vehicle registration.

3. Refusing a Breathalyzer Carries Its Own Penalties

If you think refusing a breathalyzer will spare you legal trouble, think again. When you received your driver’s license, you agreed to the state’s implied consent law. This means that you agree to chemical testing if the police pull you over on suspicion of a DWI.

  • The penalty for your first Refused to Test offense is a 180-day suspension.
  • Your license can be revoked for life if you have four Refused to Test convictions in a 5-year span.

The state may also require you to:

  • Attend a Victim Impact Panel class
  • Pass the Arkansas Driver’s License exam
  • Pay a fine

You face these penalties regardless of what your BAC may have been if you had agreed to a breathalyzer.

What Is The Highest BAC Allowed In Arkansas?

Several laws govern legal blood alcohol content (BAC) levels in Arkansas.

  • Individuals under 21 can be charged with a DUI if their BAC is 0.02 and above. (ACA § 5-65-303)
  • The highest legal BAC for anyone over the age of 21 is 0.08. (ACA § 5-65-103)
  • Commercial drivers have a lower BAC, at 0.04. (ACA § 27-23-114)

A lower BAC doesn’t mean that police can’t arrest you. You can still face DWI charges if law enforcement observed you driving while impaired: such as swerving and weaving.

These laws apply to all motor vehicles, as well as boats.

Is A DWI A Felony In Arkansas?

DWI sentencing depends, in part, on how many prior convictions you have. According to ACA § 5-65-111, a first, second, or third DWI conviction within ten years is a misdemeanor. Fourth and subsequent convictions are felonies. A criminal record can make renting a home and finding a job difficult.

A felony record isn’t the only reason to fight a DWI charge. A conviction can cost you a lot of money over the next several years. On average, Arkansas residents see their car insurance rates increase 53% after a DWI conviction.

How Do I Fight A DWI Charge?

If you face driving while intoxicated charges, you need the skill and knowledge of an experienced DWI attorney. This is a complex, nuanced area of the law. Don’t attempt to represent yourself or simply hope for the best. Arkansas judges take these charges seriously. A conviction will impact you and your family for years to come.

How Much Do DWI Lawyers Cost?

We charge a flat fee for DWI cases, which you can learn during a free consultation.

Arrested For A DWI In Arkansas? Get Legal Help Now

Our DWI defense attorneys can help you fight against these charges. Get legal representation before your first court appearance. Contact our office today to learn more.

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