The first thing you should do if you’ve been charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Arkansas is immediately fill out and send off the page attached to the back of your pink “temporary license.” That second page is a request to contest the suspension of your driver’s license. You only have 7 days to request a hearing to contest the suspension. If it has been longer than 7 days, still fill that out and send it back via snail mail and fax. Some hearing officers will still let you contest the suspension and the 7 day deadline will not impact your ability to request an interlock device. This 7 day deadline does not impact your ability to appeal the hearing decision.
When you are charged with DWI in Arkansas, there are four scenarios for your license:
- You will be required to get a breathalyzer device installed in your vehicle for a period of months depending on the number of DWIs you have been charged with within the past 5 years. This applies even if you do not own a vehicle.
- You will be able to get a waiver and won’t be required to install an interlock device (breathalyzer) in your car. That may or may not allow you to drive during that “suspension” period, depending on the waiver you get.
- You appeal your license suspension from the administrative hearing to the circuit court and hope that the judge agrees to pause the suspension until the resolution of your DWI. If you beat the DWI then it is possible your license will never be suspended and that you will never be required to have an interlock device (breathalyzer) in your car. If you do not end up beating the DWI, you can still use this method to try to postpone the suspension or breathalyzer requirement until the resolution of your DWI. This can be particularly appealing to those who have Commercial Driver’s Licenses.
- Your license will be temporarily or permanently revoked. Or, if you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), your CDL will be revoked and you can apply from scratch to get another one in 1 year. Unless you appeal the revocation, which can be done!
Arkansas Ignition Interlock Law
If you are convicted of a DWI and it is your first or second offense, the court may order you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. If it is your third or subsequent DWI, the court will order you to install an IID in your vehicle. You will be restricted to interlock driving for one year from the date of your driver’s license reinstatement.
Length of IID Requirement:
- 1st Offense: 6 months
- 2nd Offense: 24 months
- 3rd Offense: 30 months to 4 years
Treatment Requirement: Yes, must provide proof of attendance at and completion of the alcohol education program or alcohol treatment program before reinstatement of driving privileges.