We’re warned about the dangers of drinking and driving and how it can result in people getting terrible injuries or even losing their lives. But this isn’t always enough to deter people from getting behind the wheel after they’ve had too much to drink. If you or a loved one has been hurt by an intoxicated driver, a Little Rock drunk driving accident lawyer from McMath Woods P.A. can help you with your claim.
The shock of an accident is often a lot to deal with, but it can be more emotional if you learn that it shouldn’t have ever happened in the first place. A situation where a person who made a reckless decision ended up injuring you shouldn’t be ignored—and we won’t let it be.
Drunk Driving in Arkansas
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a drunk driver is involved in 1/3 of traffic deaths. But there are measures being taken to help prevent drunk driving accident, such as sobriety checkpoints. Police can stop people to quickly check if drivers are impaired. If they suspect the person is intoxicated, they can issue a breathalyzer test. Drunk driving, however, is still a major issue in Arkansas and the rest of the country.
The CDC reported on the effects of alcohol on traffic deaths in Arkansas. The data is from 2003-2012. The following facts were found:
- 1,769 people were killed because of drunk driving between those years.
- Arkansas saw higher death rates for nearly all age groups in 2012, when compared to the national average.
- For the rate of death by drunk driving for all ages, Arkansas’ rate was 5.1 and the national average was 3.3.
- 0 percent of people in Arkansas admitted driving after drinking too much. The national average of people who admit this was 1.9 percent.
Drunk driving laws state a person cannot drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. After that point, a person is completely unfit to drive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) points out that drunk drivers have issues with coordination, concentration, and reaction time. These behaviors translate to dangerous driving like failing to control speed, stay in one lane, or even drive on the road.
It’s also worth noting that any amount of alcohol in your system can affect your driving, even if it’s below the legal limit. There may be some decline in coordination and multitasking. If you’re ever unsure about driving, you can always get a ride to ensure safety.
Arkansas DUI Conviction Penalties
Driving under the influence (DUI) applies to alcohol, while driving while intoxicated (DWI) applies to drugs. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration explains its point system and what happens when a driver is charged with a DUI or DWI.
The Administrative Point System
Arkansas uses the point system so problem drivers are easier to identify. The higher the points, the more dangerous the driver. Dangerous drivers face penalties.
- 3-14 Points. A person who is speeding may get 3 points, while a reckless driver could get 8 points.
- 10-13 Points. At this level, the driver gets a warning letter stating that they will start facing more serious consequences if they continue to get points on their record.
- 14-17 Points. When they get to 14, the driver gets a notice that they may be suspended from their license and may have to attend a hearing. People within this range can lose their license for up to three months.
- 18-23 Points. At this range, people can lose their license for six months.
- 24 Points. When the driver reaches this threshold, they may lose their license for a year.
Getting a DUI or DWI in Arkansas
When a person is getting arrested for a DUI/DWI, they will receive an Official Driver’s License Receipt and Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privilege from the police. The officer will also take their license, and the Notice allows the person to drive for the next 30 days if their license is valid.
According to the Notice, the person has a week to request an administrative hearing. This is where it will be determined if the person was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They can determine drunk driving if their BAC was above 0.08 percent or it will likely be assumed if they refused the breathalyzer.
If this was the person’s first offense, their license will be suspended for six months. On their second offense within five years, they can lose their license for two years. The third offense means losing their license for 30 months, and their license will be revoked after the fourth offense. Before getting a new license, they will have to undergo alcohol or drug education, attend a Victim Impact Panel for every offense on their record, and pay a $150 fee for each offense.
When the driver is allowed to operate a motor vehicle again, they will have an interlock device in their vehicle. The time with the device is usually equal to how long they were suspended from their license.
McMath Woods P.A. Is Here for You
One of our Little Rock drunk driving accident lawyers will do everything possible to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. We will fight to get you compensation that will cover lost wages, medical expenses (including future care), pain and suffering, and more. We’re here to help you.
You can get help from one of our attorneys as soon as you get in touch with us. We’re ready to schedule a free consultation so we can discuss the details of your case and choose how to move forward. You can rest assured that we’re looking out for your best interests and are hoping to help you get on the path to recovery.