What recent changes have been made to our state’s DUI/DWI laws in Arkansas?1. In 2019, Arkansas lawmakers passed Act 818, which changed the legal limit for Drunk Driving from 0.08 to 0.05 BAC.
2. The law also includes harsher penalties for repeat offenders, including increased jail times and community service requirements.
3. First-time offenders now face increased jail time of up to one year, a fine of up to $2,500, and a minimum license suspension of 90 days.
4. All DUI/DWI offenders now must have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles as part of their probation or parole requirements.
5. An aggravated DUI/DWI is now defined as a BAC of 0.15 or higher, and offenders face enhanced penalties such as increased fines and longer license suspensions.
Have there been updates to the legal BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) limit in Arkansas?Yes, in July of 2019, Arkansas lowered its legal BAC limit from 0.08 to 0.05 for those over the age of 21. The law went into effect on July 1, 2019.
How have penalties for first-time DUI offenders changed in recent years in Arkansas?In recent years, penalties for first-time DUI offenders in Arkansas have become stricter. Per Arkansas Code Annotated 5-65-103, the following penalties now apply:
• Up to 1 year in jail
• Fines of up to $2,500
• Driver’s license suspension for 6 months
• Completion of an Arkansas DWI Education Program
• Court costs and fees totaling around $500
• Vehicle impoundment
• Probation for up to 2 years
• Possible installation of an ignition interlock device
Are there new ignition interlock device (IID) requirements or policies in Arkansas?Yes. On November 1, 2020, the new Arkansas Ignition Interlock Device Law went into effect. The new law states that anyone convicted of a DWI offense on or after November 1, 2020 must have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in their vehicle for a minimum of six months. The law also states that anyone convicted of a third or subsequent DWI within 10 years will be required to have the IID installed for at least two years. In addition, individuals who are issued Occupational or Restricted licenses due to a DWI conviction must also have an IID installed in their vehicle.
Have there been changes to the process of DUI checkpoints and stops in Arkansas?Yes, there have been changes to the process of DUI checkpoints and stops in Arkansas. The Arkansas Supreme Court recently issued a ruling that law enforcement officers must have a “reasonable suspicion” before they can stop a motorist for a DUI checkpoint. This means that officers must have an articulable reason to believe that the driver is intoxicated. Additionally, the state has implemented a “no-refusal” policy in some counties, which requires drivers to submit to a warrantless blood test if they refuse a breath test.
What impact have recent legal changes had on DUI/DWI sentencing in Arkansas?Recent legal changes in Arkansas have made harsher penalties for DUI/DWI offenders, imposing harsher sentences for repeat offenses and suspending or revoking the driver’s license of offenders. These changes also include stricter standards for breathalyzer tests, increased fines and fees, and longer jail time for repeat offenders. Additionally, the law now requires repeat offenders to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle as a condition of reinstating their license. These changes have been intended to discourage intoxicated driving and promote public safety.
Are there new diversion or treatment programs for DUI offenders in Arkansas?Yes, there are new diversion and treatment programs for DUI offenders in Arkansas. These include Alcohol Education Programs, Alcohol Evaluation Programs, and Alcohol Treatment Programs. The Arkansas Department of Correction also offers a range of other programs to help offenders transition back into society.
Has the process for DUI/DWI testing or blood draws been modified in Arkansas?Yes, the process for DUI/DWI testing and blood draws has been modified in Arkansas due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under current statutes, law enforcement may still conduct sobriety tests, but may use more remote methods, such as phone or video calls. Additionally, blood draws are no longer required for DUI/DWI cases. Instead, the state allows for a breath or urine test to be used in lieu of a blood draw.
Have recent changes affected the availability of plea bargains in DUI cases in Arkansas?Recent changes to the rules surrounding plea bargains in Arkansas DUI cases have not affected availability. In the state, a defendant can still enter into a plea bargain with the prosecutor. However, the state does require that a defendant first enter into an alcohol assessment before a plea agreement is completed. This assessment ensures that the defendant has a better understanding of the charges against them and can help identify any risks associated with driving while intoxicated. If successful, the assessment may result in a reduced charge or sentence.
Are there specific changes in DUI laws for underage drivers in Arkansas?Yes, Arkansas has specific laws pertaining to underage drunk driving. According to Arkansas state law, those under 21 years of age who are found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02% or higher are guilty of driving while intoxicated and can face criminal charges. If convicted, penalties may include license suspension, fines, and/or jail time. The minimum legal drinking age in Arkansas is 21.
Have there been updates to DUI laws regarding marijuana or other drugs in Arkansas?Yes. In 2019, Arkansas passed a law that makes it illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana. The new law states that it is illegal to drive with any amount of marijuana or its active ingredient, THC, in the body. The law also prohibits a person from driving if they consumed any marijuana product or showed evidence of having done so within the past two hours. Penalties for DUI related to marijuana are the same as those for alcohol-related DUIs and range from fines to jail time and license suspension.
What changes have been made to DUI penalties for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders in Arkansas?Since 2017, Arkansas has increased the penalties for CDL holders who are convicted of DUI. Any CDL holder found to be operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .04 or greater is now subject to an automatic one year disqualification of their CDL privileges. The disqualification period also increases to three years if the driver is found to have a BAC of .08 or higher, and it is an automatic two year disqualification if the driver has had a prior DUI conviction within the past five years. CDL holders convicted of DUI also face stiffer fines and jail time than non-commercial drivers.
Are there new reporting requirements for DUI/DWI convictions to other states in Arkansas?No, there are no new reporting requirements for DUI/DWI convictions to other states in Arkansas. When an individual is convicted of a DUI/DWI in Arkansas, that conviction is reported to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration Driver Control Division and is kept on file. This information is then shared with other states pursuant to the Driver License Compact and the Non-Resident Violator Compact. However, no new reporting requirements have been implemented.
How have recent changes impacted the use of body cameras or dashcams during DUI stops in Arkansas?Recent changes in Arkansas have had a positive impact on the use of body cameras and dashcams during DUI stops. Under a new law passed in 2019, any officer who is involved in DUI enforcement in the state must wear a body camera that is activated at the time of the stop. Additionally, dashcams have become increasingly prevalent in police vehicles, with the Arkansas State Police now requiring that each patrol car be equipped with one. This increased use of technology has helped to ensure accountability and transparency throughout the law enforcement process, which has been beneficial for both law enforcement and the general public.
Have there been changes to DUI laws related to accidents causing injury or death in Arkansas?Yes, there have been changes to DUI laws related to accidents causing injury or death in Arkansas. In 2017, the Arkansas Legislature passed a bill which allowed for tougher punishments for DUI offenders who caused an accident resulting in death or serious injury. Under the law, those convicted of a DUI that resulted in a fatality can face up to 10 years in prison, and those convicted of a DUI resulting in serious physical injury can face up to six years in prison. In addition, the law also increased the fines for those convicted of a DUI causing injury or death from $1,000 to $2,500.
Are there new policies or laws regarding DUI expungement or record sealing in Arkansas?At this time, there are no new laws or policies regarding DUI expungement or record sealing in Arkansas. However, Arkansas does have laws that allow for expungement and record sealing in certain cases. For more information, please visit https://www.arkansaslaws.org/expungement-in-arkansas/
Have recent legal changes affected DUI insurance rates in Arkansas?Yes, recent legal changes have affected DUI insurance rates in Arkansas. In 2017, Arkansas implemented a new law that requires a minimum of six months of SR-22 insurance for any person convicted of a DUI. This has caused DUI rates to rise significantly in the state, with some rates increasing by up to 200%.
What changes have been made to DUI/DWI court processes and procedures in Arkansas?1. In Arkansas, DUI/DWI courts are now required to recognize and respond to the individual needs of defendants by providing evidence-based treatment options and other services that enhance the likelihood of successful recovery.
2. The courts are now required to focus on the individual needs of each defendant and tailor treatment services to those needs.
3. Courts are also required to provide access to resources and support services such as housing, vocational training, medical care, mental health services, and social services.
4. Sentencing has been modified in Arkansas DUI/DWI cases, with even harsher penalties for repeat offenders or those with prior convictions.
5. DUI/DWI courts are now utilizing technology such as alcohol ignition interlocks and GPS monitoring systems to ensure compliance with court orders.
Are there additional resources or diversion programs for individuals with substance abuse issues in Arkansas?Yes, there are additional resources and diversion programs available for individuals with substance abuse issues in Arkansas. These include professional counseling services, support groups, 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, and residential treatment centers. There are also a number of state-funded programs available, such as the Arkansas Department of Health’s Substance Abuse Services, as well as local community organizations that provide assistance.
What is the process for staying informed about ongoing and future changes in DUI/DWI laws in Arkansas?1. Visit the Arkansas Department of Transportation’s website (https://www.arkansashighways.com/trans_reg_laws.aspx) for information on DUI/DWI laws in the state.
2. Check the Arkansas Department of Correction’s website (https://adc.arkansas.gov/offender-search-information) for laws related to driving while impaired and other alcohol-related offenses.
3. Keep an eye on local news outlets for updates on DUI/DWI laws in Arkansas.
4. Follow the Arkansas State Police’s Twitter account (@ARStatePolice) to stay informed about enforcement efforts in the state and any changes in DUI/DWI laws.
5. Attend seminars or courses hosted by law enforcement organizations or legal organizations to stay updated on changes in DUI/DWI laws in Arkansas.