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What are the penalties for repeat DWI offenders?

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | DWI Defense

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses are serious violations of the law, and Arkansas imposes stringent penalties, especially for repeat offenders. Understanding the consequences of repeat DWI offenses is crucial for drivers to make informed decisions and avoid legal troubles.

In Arkansas, drivers over the age of 21 who are found behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration (BACC) of 0.08% or higher are charged with a DWI. On the other hand, drivers under the age of 21 who are operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.02% but less than 0.08% get charged with driving under the influence (DUI). However, underage drivers can also be charged with adult DWI if they’re found operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher.

Penalties for first-time DWI offenders

For first-time DWI offenders in Arkansas, penalties may include fines ranging between $150 to $1,000, plus court fees that can add up to $300. Moreover, the offender’s driver’s license may get suspended for six months. What’s more, DWI offenders may have to spend between 24 hours to 1 year in jail, even though they can choose to complete public services instead of serving their jail sentence.

Penalties for second-time DWI offenders

The penalties become significantly more severe for individuals convicted of a second DWI offense within five years of their first offense. The following outlines the typical consequences second-time offenders may face:

  • Fines ranging between $400 to $3,000
  • Jail sentence ranging between 7 days to one year (public service can replace jail sentence)
  • 24-month license suspension
  • Ignition interlock restricted license

It’s crucial to remember that penalties for second-time DWI offenders can be aggravated if there was a passenger under the age of 16 years at the time of the arrest.

Penalties for third-time DWI offenders

For individuals convicted of a third DWI offender within five years of their second offense, the penalties escalate even further. To begin with, the offender may not access the ignition interlock restricted license for the first 45 days of their 30-month license suspension. Moreover, they may be required to pay fines ranging between $900 to $5,000. Not to mention that they may have to serve a jail sentence ranging between 90 days and one year.

Repeat DWI offenses in Arkansas can result in severe penalties and consequences. Individuals who find themselves on the wrong side of the law for a second, third or fourth time because of a DWI offense can benefit from learning the legal options available to them by seeking the assistance of a skilled legal team as soon as possible.