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DWI charges are some of the most common offenses charged by law enforcement in the Fort Smith area. In the state of Arkansas, it is illegal under the DWI statute to be in physical control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated OR being in physical control of a vehicle with a BAC level of .08. The state will only have to prove one or the other so even if you refuse a breathalyzer exam you might be found guilty through other evidence of intoxication. Arkansas is an implied consent state so even if you refuse a chemical test altogether, you could face similar penalties including license suspension.

“Intoxicated” means a driver is influenced or affected by the ingestion of alcohol or any intoxicant to such a degree that the driver’s reactions, motor skills, and judgment are substantially altered and the driver, therefore, constitutes a clear and substantial danger of physical injury or death to himself and other motorists or pedestrians. Both drugs and alcohol are treated the same for purposes of the statute.

Each DWI case and it’s problems/defenses will be fact specific. Maybe you were under the influence of a prescribed medication or even an over the counter medication. Perhaps you were on private property or parked in your vehicle. Many factors can come into play when defending against a charge of DWI. It’s important that you contact an experienced Fort Smith DWI attorney to discuss your case.

What are the penalties for a DWI conviction in Arkansas?

1st DWI
Jail: 24 hours to 1 year and fines of $150 – $1,000
Classes: Alcohol education class and MADD Victim Impact Panel
Driver’s License: suspension for 6 months. You will be eligible for an interlock device. (If it is a DWI-Drugs, then you will be eligible for a work permit.)

2nd DWI
Jail: 7 days to1 year and fines of $400 – $3,000
Court Costs: $300
Classes: Alcohol Education Course and MADD Victim Impact Panel
Driver’s License: DL suspension for 2 years; eligible for an interlock device.

3rd DWI
Jail: 90 days to 1 year and fines of $900 – $5,000
Classes: Alcohol Education Course and MADD Victim Impact Panel
Driver’s License: suspension for 30 months; eligible for an interlock device.

4th DWI – Felony
Jail: 1 to 6 years in prison and up to $10,000 fine
Driver’s License: Revocation for 4 years
Classes: Alcohol Education Course and MADD Victim Impact Panel

There are certain factors that may result in enhanced penalties. They are fact specific and depend on the unique circumstances of different kinds of cases.

Any person who’s license is suspended or revoked for a DWI must complete an alcohol education program provided through the Division of Behavioral Health Services. The cost of attending the program is $125. Upon completion of the program the person must submit an application for reinstatement to the Office of Driver Services.

The potential lasting consequences of a DWI conviction can go far beyond fines and jail time. Your ability to make income and your personal life could take hits that take years to recover. If you or a loved one have been charged with DWI, DUI, or refusal don’t hesitate to call us today for a free case evaluation.

The Law Office of David L. Powell, PLC serves clients in Fort Smith, Van Buren, Greenwood, and throughout the state of Arkansas.