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Howerton Law Areas of Practice / Arkansas Criminal Law / Arkansas DWI

Arkansas DWI: Driving While Intoxicated


Contrary to what many people and attorneys believe, there are defenses to a DUI/DWI charge. The first thing that must be considered is the reasoning for the officer stopping you or approaching you. If the officer cannot articulate some legally valid reason, then the stop altogether may be suppressed due to improper procedure.

Next, the officer must have some articulable suspicion that you are intoxicated to pull you out of your vehicle and have you perform the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. Furthermore, the tests are just that, standardized. If they are not performed in the standardized manner, all the veracity is lost and the test is inaccurate and useless. Most officers take a course on how to perform these tests, but never renew that certification or review the procedures. For these reasons, often times, these tests are not administered properly, rendering them worthless and unreliable in court. Many times, the officers will not bring their certifications with them to court, allowing for complete suppression of the BAC results or Standard Field Sobriety Tests results.

The technology used today to determine the blood alcohol level of an individual can at times fail at its specific purpose. The BAC datamaster machine must be calibrated properly and timely, and administered accurately for the reading to be accurate. Any slight deviation from these requirements can produce an inaccurate reading rendering the results unreliable.

The bottom line is that there are many requirements that must be met for a DUI/DWI conviction and many times they are not. This is why a good attorney is able to attack the tests, BAC results, officer’s training, and the case altogether for successfully defending against a conviction.

The law says that it is illegal to drive while intoxicated, not to drive after ingesting alcohol, and you need an attorney who knows the difference and is able to get results.

DWI in Arkansas


Howerton Law Firm DWI Attorneys
Arkansas DWI Attorneys at the Howerton Law Firm handle all Arkansas DWI matters for the Arkansas general practice law firm Howerton Law Firm. Use the Request a Free Consultation form on the left of the page to schedule your free initial consultation with DWI lawyer Wendy Howerton or simply call the Howerton Law Firm at 479-587-9300.

About DWI in Arkansas
DWIs in Arkansas do not ever come off your driving record; however, they may only be used for enhancement purposes for five years. A DWI charge may never be dropped according to Arkansas statute; they may only be tried. You can be found guilty of DWI although you were not driving your car at the time.

Arkansas criminal code
The Arkansas criminal code within the following subcategories for Arkansas criminal law on this Website was taken from the Criminal Code of 1987 and updates from the Arkansas General Assembly Website. We make no promises, guarantees, warrantees, or other assurances about its authenticity or accuracy. The following disclaimer was taken from the online code general provisions:

Not Official: The code that is provided on this site is an unofficial posting of the Arkansas Code. The files making up this Internet version of the Arkansas Code do not constitute the official text of the Arkansas Code and are intended for informational purposes only. The printed version of the Arkansas Code should be consulted for all matters requiring reliance on the statutory text. No representation is made as to the accuracy or completeness of these sections. While every effort was made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the statutes available on the Arkansas General Assembly's web site, the Arkansas General Assembly is not responsible for any errors or omissions which may occur in these files. Please notify the Webmaster if you find any irregularities in the statutes on this web site. The Webmaster will relay the information to appropriate staff members of the Arkansas Code Revision Commission to investigate the irregularities.

Service: The Arkansas General Assembly offers access to the Arkansas Code on the internet as a service to the public. The Webmaster is unable to assist users of this service with legal questions. Also, legislative staff cannot respond requests for legal advice or the application of the law to specific facts from anyone except members of the Arkansas Legislature. Therefore, to understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult your own private lawyer. Please refer legal questions elsewhere.


Arkansas Criminal Code for DWI in Arkansas
5-65-101. Omnibus DWI Act — Application.
This act shall be known as the “Omnibus DWI Act”.
History. Acts 1983, No. 549, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 75-2501; 2007, No. 214, § 1.
5-65-102. Definitions.
As used in this act:
(1) (A) “Controlled substance” means a drug, substance, or immediate precursor in
Schedules I through VI.
(B) The fact that any person charged with a violation of this act is or has been
entitled to use that drug or controlled substance under the laws of this state does not constitute a
defense against any charge of violating this act;
(2) “Intoxicated” means influenced or affected by the ingestion of alcohol, a controlled
substance, any intoxicant, or any combination of alcohol, a controlled substance, or an
intoxicant, to such a degree that the driver's reactions, motor skills, and judgment are
substantially altered and the driver, therefore, constitutes a clear and substantial danger of
physical injury or death to himself and other motorists or pedestrians;
(3) “Sworn report” means a signed and written statement of a certified law enforcement
officer, under penalty of perjury, on a form provided by the Director of the Department of
Finance and Administration; and
(4) “Victim impact statement” means a voluntary written or oral statement of a victim, or
relative of a victim, who has sustained serious injury due to a violation of this act.
History. Acts 1983, No. 549, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 75-2502; Acts 1987, No. 765, § 1; 1997, No.
1325, § 1.
5-65-103. Unlawful acts.
(a) It is unlawful and punishable as provided in this act for any person who is intoxicated to
operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle.
(b) It is unlawful and punishable as provided in this act for any person to operate or be in
actual physical control of a motor vehicle if at that time the alcohol concentration in the person's
breath or blood was eight-hundredths (0.08) or more based upon the definition of breath, blood,
and urine concentration in § 5-65-204.

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