DUI/DWI FAQs

If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), you likely have questions, especially if this is your first offense. Tapp Law Firm has provided the following answers to some of the most common questions about this type of criminal charge. DWIs can warrant both criminal and administrative penalties. If you have more questions than are answered here, please do not hesitate to call Tapp Law Firm at 501-623-9800.

What do I do if pulled over for a DWI?

In Arkansas, you have many rights. First, you have the right to remain silent. As a result, you are not required to answer the question "have you been drinking tonight?" I would advise you refuse to answer.

Second, you are further not required to incriminate yourself. As a result, you do not have to submit to any field sobriety test or any Portable Breath Test in Arkansas. Refusal to take the test should not be seen as an admission of guilt.

Finally, if arrested, you are required to comply with law enforcement requirements and provide a BAC test that is generally performed at jail where you are brought or at law enforcement. You can tell the difference between the Portable Breath Test and the BAC testing machine by the size of the machine. The PBT machine is about the size of a large cellphone, and about an inch wide. The BAC machine is substantially larger.

What happens to my driver's license if I am charged with DWI alcohol?

In Arkansas, driving is considered a privilege and not a right. As a result, your license will be suspended thirty (30) days after you are charged and usually prior to going to court through Arkansas Driver Control.

What is the penalty for refusing a chemical test or the BAC?
In Arkansas, if this is your first offense and you have no prior DWI convictions on your record, then you will face driver's license revocation for 180 days. If you have any prior DWI chemical test refusals on your record, or you have been convicted of driving while intoxicated before, then you may receive a much longer driver's license revocation.

Can you have a DWI charge dismissed or plead to another charge?

In Arkansas, the court can dismiss a murder charge, but not a DWI. You must either plead guilty or no contest to the DWI or be tried on those charges. The Prosecuting Attorney nor the court has the authority to dismiss any DWI charges.

I was arrested for DWI with drugs. How long could my driver's license be revoked?
While the Arkansas Legislature is constantly changing this law, currently the driver's license suspension is for six (6) months on a first offense and longer for subsequent offenses.

If my license is suspended for DWI, how can I get it back?
If you successfully win your DWI case, then your license is restored to you. If you plead guilty or are found guilty of DWI, then you will need to complete an Alcohol Safety or MODS class ordered by the court, complete a MADD mothers class, have an interlock installed on your vehicle, pay a reinstatement fee, and finally complete the time for suspension of the license.

What is the difference between DWI and DUI?

In Arkansas, DWI is driving under the influence of either alcohol or controlled substances. DUI is more appropriately described as underage DUI and that is when a minor is driving having consumed alcohol, but the quantity of alcohol in their system is not sufficient to qualify as a DWI.

How do I contact you?

Contact Tapp Law Firm for a free initial consultation by calling 501-623-9800 or emailing Mr. Tapp.