The City Attorney recognizes each year persons in the City of Springdale suffer property damage, personal injury and sometimes death because of drunk driving. Therefore, the City Attorney's Office aggressively prosecutes all cases of DWI/DUI.
DWI is defined under Arkansas law as "operating or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated or, if at that time the alcohol concentration in the person's breath or blood was .08% or more as determined by a chemical test of the person's blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substances." Intoxicated is defined as "influenced or affected by the ingestion of alcohol, a controlled substance, any intoxicant, or any combination thereof, to such a degree that the driver's reactions, motor skills, and judgment are substantially altered and the driver, therefore, constitutes a danger to himself and other motorists or pedestrians."
A person arrested for a DWI #1 in Arkansas will usually lose their driving privileges under administrative suspension by the State of Arkansas. Further, a person convicted of DWI #1 will face a minimum of $150 to $1,000 fine, $300 in court costs, a jail sentence of one day to one year, or be required to perform public service in lieu thereof, and will be screened for alcohol use and at the very least will be required to attend an alcohol safety course. DWI #2 and DWI #3 have graduated punishments, and a DWI #4 (a fourth DWI offense within five years of the first offense) is a felony in the State of Arkansas, which means if convicted, the defendant could face time in the Arkansas State Penitentiary.
DUI in Arkansas relates to underage drinking and driving. It is unlawful in the State of Arkansas to be under the age of 21, and operate or be in actual physical control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of between .02% and .07%. If the underage driver has a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater, the underage driver is considered to be DWI, rather than DUI. DUI cases are also aggressively prosecuted and if convicted of a DUI first offense, the defendant will be required to pay a fine of at least $100, court costs of $75, be screened and attend an alcohol education program through the Ozark Guidance Center, lose their driver's license for at least 90 days to 120 days and be required to perform public service.