If you are accused of driving drunk, the potential penalties that you might face can be quite severe, and you should not take your charge lightly. Wondering what happens when you get a DUI in Arkansas or Oklahoma? We encourage you to talk to one of the experienced criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook. We can explain the potential penalties that you might face and advise you on the appropriate course of action for you to take.
What Happens When You Get a DUI?
The first important thing to note if you’re wondering what happens when you get a DUI in Arkansas or Oklahoma is that many people use the terms DUI and DWI interchangeably. These are two distinct offenses, however, and they have different meanings in the two states as well.
What Happens When You Get a DUI or DWI in Arkansas?
In Arkansas, a DUI refers to driving under the influence when the driver is younger than age 21. People who are younger than age 21 may be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol concentration is between 0.02 percent and 0.08 percent under Ark. Code § 5-65-303. It is important for you to understand that you can be charged with a DUI in Arkansas if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was at least 0.02 percent and you were not of legal drinking age, even if you did not feel drunk.
If you are underage and are facing a DUI charge, you may face several penalties if you are convicted. If the DUI is a first offense, you may have your driver’s license suspended for 90 days under Ark. Code § 5-65-304. If you are convicted of a second-offense DUI, your driving privileges may be suspended for one year. For a third offense DUI, your license may be revoked for three years or until you turn 21, whichever is longer.
A DUI may also result in substantial fines. A first-offense DUI can result in a fine of $100 to $500. A second DUI conviction can result in a fine of $200 to $1,000, and a third DUI conviction can result in a fine of $500 to $2,000. Underage people who are convicted of DUI will also have to perform community service work. If it is the first offense, the amount of public service will be at the court’s discretion. If you are convicted of a second offense, you will have to complete a minimum of 30 days of public service. If it is the third conviction, you will have to complete at least 60 days of public service, but the amount may be higher.
A DUI conviction will also require you to complete an alcohol and driving education program. Finally, the court might place you under probationary supervision for the purpose of monitoring your compliance with the court’s orders.
A DWI in Arkansas is prohibited under Ark. Code § 5-65-103, which defines driving while intoxicated as operating a motor vehicle or being in actual physical control of a vehicle when your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or more, no matter your age. This means that people can be charged with a DWI even when they are younger than 21 if their BAC is 0.08 percent or more.
The penalties for a DWI conviction in Arkansas are more severe than they are for a DUI. For a first-offense DWI, you may face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The court is allowed to sentence you to 30 days of public service instead of jail. A second-offense DWI that is committed within five years of the first offense may result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $3,000. The court may choose to sentence you to 60 days of community service instead of the jail time. A third-offense DWI within five years can result in one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. The court can order 90 days of community service instead of jail.
Fourth and subsequent DWI convictions within five years are felony offenses. A fourth conviction can result in up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 or one year of community service instead of prison. A fifth offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $5,000. The court may sentence you to serve two years of community service in lieu of prison.
Your driver’s license may be impacted by a DWI as follows:
- First Offense: 6-month suspension
- Second Offense: 24-month suspension
- Third Offense: 30-month suspension
- Fourth Offense: 4-year suspension
What Happens When You Get a DUI or DWI in Oklahoma?
In Oklahoma, a DUI, which is driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, is prohibited under 47 O.S. § 11-902. The penalties for a DUI conviction in Oklahoma include the following:
- Mandatory alcohol evaluation
- Must follow the recommendations of the evaluation
- Jail from 10 days to 1 year
- Fine of up to $1,000
A first DUI conviction is a misdemeanor, and a DUI is also considered a first offense if the driver has had no DUI convictions within the past 10 years. The penalties for subsequent DUI convictions become increasingly severe, making it important for you to seek help from a lawyer.
In addition, Oklahoma has a strict “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to underage drivers drinking and driving. If you are a driver under the age of 21 and found to have alcohol in your system, your driver’s license will automatically be revoked. Your license will also be revoked if you refuse to take a BAC test. The revocation period will depend on whether this is your first, second, or third offense and ranges from 6 to 36 months.
In Oklahoma, DWI refers to driving while impaired, which is a blood alcohol concentration between 0.05 and 0.07 percent. It is prohibited under 47 O.S. § 761.
If you are convicted of driving while impaired in Oklahoma, you may face the following penalties:
- Fine of $100 to $500
- Up to 6 months in jail
- Driver’s license suspension of 30 days for the first offense, 6 months for the second offense, or 12 months for the third offense
Get Help from an Experienced DWI or DUI Lawyer
Getting charged with a DUI or DWI can lead to serious consequences. If you’re wondering what happens when you get a DUI, talk to an attorney who is experienced in handling DWI and DUI offenses. A lawyer at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook might be able to identify potential defenses that you might raise to contest the charge or minimize the penalties. Contact us today to schedule a consultation so that you can learn more about your options and your rights.