DWI vs. DUI
In Arkansas, a DWI and a DUI are different things.
What is the difference?
Here’s what’s different: A DWI in Arkansas means operating a vehicle while impaired on a controlled substance or with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above if you’re 21 or older and .02 or above if you’re under 21. A DUI in Arkansas is reserved only for people under 21 with a BAC of .02-.08.
The main difference in a DWI vs. DUI is that anyone can get a DWI, but only people under the age of 21 can get a DUI.
Driving while Intoxicated (DWI)
A DWI in Arkansas means operating a vehicle (or being in “actual physical control” on the roadways) while impaired on a controlled substance or with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher for people 21+ and .02 or higher for people under 21.
Driving Under Influence (DUI)
A DUI in Arkansas is reserved only for people under the age of 21 who operate a vehicle with a BAC of .02 to .079. The penalties of a DUI are having your driver’s license suspended, being fined, having to pay court costs, required alcohol treatment attendance, required MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) panel attendance, and possible community service.
Know Your Rights
If you get pulled over for either a DUI or DWI in Arkansas, you absolutely need to know your rights and what to do. You have the right to remain silent – you don’t have to say anything about why you were pulled over, where you were, what you were doing, or whether or not you had been drinking. Under no circumstances should you ever admit to drinking, even just 2 beers. No matter what the officer says, you absolutely do not have to take a field sobriety test of any kind.
If you are arrested and have to take a blood, breath, or urine test, don’t worry yet. You are legally entitled to an independent test (at your own expenses). If you register a BAC over the legal limit at the police station or jail, you should always request your independent test.
There are a few things the law requires you to do if you get pulled over/charged with a DWI or DUI:
You can remain silent, but you must provide your driver’s license, registration, and insurance.
You don’t have to take a field sobriety test. However, if you’re arrested, you must take the blood, breath, or urine test at the police station/jail. If you refuse to take it, you can be charged with refusal and have your license suspended – plus, the Judge will be able to consider the refusal as “consciousness of guilt.”