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Arkansas Drugged Driving

In Arkansas, a person is guilty of a DUI if they are intoxicated and operate a motor vehicle. Ark. Code. Ann. § 5-65-103(a) (West 2010). "Intoxication" includes being influenced by the ingestion of a controlled substance to such a degree that the driver's reactions, motor skills, and judgment are substantially altered. Id. § 5-65-102(b)(2).

Affirmative Defense

The fact that a person is or has been entitled to use a drug or controlled substance under the laws of this state does not constitute a defense. Id. § 5-65-102(B).

Implied Consent

  • Any person who operates a motor vehicle in the state of Arkansas is deemed to have given consent to one or more chemical tests of his or her breath or blood. Id. § 5-65-202.
  • If a person under arrest refuses to submit to a chemical test, no chemical test shall be given, and the person's driver's license shall be seized by the officer and suspended for 180 days. Id. §§ 5-65-205(a)-(b).
  • Under implied consent statute, defendant has no right to consult with an attorney before taking, or refusing to take, test. Wright v. State, 703 S.W.2d 850 (1986).
  • If the person tested requests that additional chemical test or chemical tests be made the cost of the additional chemical test or chemical tests shall be borne by the person tested, unless the person is found not guilty in which case the arresting law enforcement agency shall reimburse the person for the cost of the additional chemical test or chemical tests. Id. § 5-65-203(2).
  • Refusal to be tested for blood-alcohol content is admissible evidence on the issue of intoxication and may imply defendant's consciousness of guilt. Blair v. State, 288 S.W.3d 713 (2008).

Penalties

  • First offense - jail time of 24 hours up to a maximum of 1-year (potential public service in lieu of jail time); fine of $150 with a maximum fine of $1,000; license suspension for 120 days. Ark. Code. Ann. § 5-65-111(a)(1)(A)-(B) (West 2010); Id. §5-65-112(1).
  • Second offense - minimum of 7 days in jail, up to 1-year (potential 30 days of community service in lieu of jail time); fine of $400 to $3,000 dollars; license suspension for 24 months. Id. § 5-65-111(b)(1)(A); Id. §5-65-112(2).
  • Third offense (w/i 5 years) - minimum of 90 days in jail, up to a maximum of 1-year (the court may order a minimum of 90 days of community service in lieu of jail time); fine of $900 up to $5,000; license suspension for 30 months. Id. § 5-65-111(b)(2)(A); Id. §5-65-112(3).
  • Fourth offense (w/i 5 years) felony – incarceration of a minimum of 1-year up to a maximum of 6 years (possible minimum of 1-year of community service in lieu of jail); fine of $900 to $5,000; license revocation for 4 years; state may also order the defendant's vehicle to be seized. Id. § 5-65-111(b)(3)(A); Id. §5-65-112(3).
  • Fifth or subsequent offense (w/i 5 years) felony imprisonment for at least two years but no more than ten years (possible community service in lieu of imprisonment); fine of $900 to $5,000. Id. § 5-65-111(b)(4)(A)(i); Id. §5-65-112(3).

Other Penalties & Penalty Enhancers

  • DUI with a passenger under 16 is in the vehicle (unless within 2 years of the driver's age) enhances penalty. Id. § 5-65-111 (a)(2)(A).
  • Multiple offences can lead to vehicle forfeiture and sale. Id. § 5-65-117.

Sobriety Checkpoints

Sobriety Checkpoints are permissible in Arkansas under both state and federal Constitutions.

  • Sobriety checkpoints are proper under Fourth Amendment if they maintain proper balance between gravity of public concern; decree to which public interest is advanced; and severity of interference with individual liberty. Brouhard v. Lee, 125 F.3d 656(C.A.8 (Ark.),1997).
  • Law enforcement officer had "reasonable suspicion" to support investigatory stop of motorist who pulled into driveway and drove in opposite direction in order to avoid police roadblock. Coffman v. State, 759 S.W.2d 573(1988).

Case Law

Blair v. State, 288 S.W.3d 713 (2008) -- Refusal to be tested for blood-alcohol content is admissible evidence on the issue of intoxication and may imply defendant's consciousness of guilt.

Hill v. State, 868 S.W.2d 44 (1993) -- Driving while intoxicated can be committed on private property.