Driving while intoxicated is a crime throughout the United States. In Arkansas, operating or having “actual physical control” of a vehicle (car or motorboat) while intoxicated is illegal. You should be aware that the term “actual physical control” means only that you have the ability to exert control of the vehicle — for example, that you are sitting at the wheel with the key in the ignition — but does not require the motor to be on or the vehicle to be in motion. In order to be convicted of DWI, you have to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least .08 percent or your reaction and motor skills have to be substantially altered as the result of ingesting alcohol or any other intoxicant.
If you are arrested for a DWI offense in Arkansas, the Law Offices of Bryce Cook, PLC in Jonesboro is prepared to come to your immediate assistance. Our criminal defense attorneys serve clients throughout northeastern Arkansas and have a long successful track record of winning DWI cases in Craighead and other surrounding counties, such as Greene, Mississippi, Clay and Crittenden.
Bryce Cook, the founding and lead attorney of this practice, gives every client his undivided attention. You will find that he is concerned with you not only as a client but as a person and that he will always presume you innocent unless proven guilty. Even if the evidence against you is formidable, Bryce Cook knows the plea bargaining tactics most likely to have your charges lessened and your penalties reduced.
How Our DWI Attorney Can Help
There are serious consequences to a conviction for DWI, even if this is your first offense. Not only are you confronting fines and jail time, but you are also facing possible felony charges if anyone was injured or killed in an accident in which you were involved.
Depending on particular circumstances, you may be threatened with a broad range of penalties:
- Long-term incarceration (up to 1 year for a first offense)
- Heavy fines (up to $1,000 for a first offense)
- The necessity to use an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
- Required education or treatment
- Fees for treatment, education, supervision, reinstatement of license
- Community service
- License suspension or revocation
Moreover, after being convicted of a DWI offense, your reputation may be badly damaged and your employment or educational opportunities restricted. Your driving history affects your level of risk. Arkansas law takes multiple DWI offenses very seriously; the penalties increase if you are a repeat offender, regardless of your age.
DWI vs DUI in Arkansas
In the state of Arkansas, the distinction between DWI and DUI is a very simple one — the age of the accused offender. If you are 21 years of age or older, you can only be convicted of DWI. If you are under the age of 21, however, you can be charged with either offense. Drivers under the age of 21 at the time of arrest can get an “underage DWI” if they have a BAC of .02 percent or more.
If convicted, they will be subject to a 90-day license suspension, a fine of $100 to $500, and a term of up to a year in jail. If an underage driver is driving a passenger who is 16 years old or younger, the driver must spend a minimum of 7 days in jail. Underage motorists will also have to complete an accredited alcohol education program at their own cost. Minors who are convicted of three DWIs will have their licenses revoked until they turn 21 years of age or for 3 years, whichever period is longer.
What does “implied consent” mean?
In Arkansas, the law assumes that all drivers who have been lawfully arrested for DWI have given their implicit consent to submit to a chemical or breath test. Drivers who refuse to be tested face the same license revocation and ignition interlock penalties they would if they had been convicted of a DWI offense.
Commercial Drivers Face Increased Peril
If you hold a commercial driver’s license, you will lose that license for one year after your first DWI conviction, whether or not you were driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the arrest. If you were driving a commercial vehicle and transporting hazardous materials at the time of arrest, you will lose your commercial license for 3 years. A commercial driver who is convicted of a second DWI loses his or her commercial driver’s license permanently.
Bryce Cook Has a Many Workable Defense Strategies
Depending on the particular circumstances of your case, Bryce Cook will use one or more of the following well-honed defense strategies to protect you from a DWI conviction:
- Lack of probable cause (i.e. you were pulled over for no valid reason)
- Flawed lab results or defective equipment (e.g. improperly calibrated breathalyzer)
- Medical condition that mimics the slurred speech or poor balance of intoxication
- Poor driving skills or a foolish driving maneuver were mistaken for DWI
- Inaccurate administration of field sobriety tests
- Violation of your Miranda rights against self-incrimination
- Witnesses attest to your sobriety or your abstinence from intoxicants prior to the arrest
- Proof of mental alertness at the time of arrest
Contact Our Jonesboro DWI Attorney
Bryce Cook has a well-earned reputation for negotiating successful outcomes. If at all possible, he will get the DWI charges against you dismissed. He is an excellent negotiator, so if winning a dismissal is not achievable, he will work out a plea bargain with the prosecution to have your charges lowered and any fees or other penalties lessened. Contact him at the Law Offices of Bryce Cook as soon as possible. He knows what a difficult time this is for you and he will make sure you don’t have to go through it alone, providing not only excellent legal representation but strong personal support.
The Law Offices of Bryce Cook handles DWI cases throughout Arkansas include the Craighead County Courthouse, Greene County Courthouse, Mississippi County Courthouse, Clay County Courthouse, Crittenden County Courthouse.