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Will I lose my license for DUI on a first offense?

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2022 | Criminal Defense

No one wants to see the flashing lights of an Arkansas police car in the rearview mirror while driving. Just seeing those lights can make a person’s blood pressure rise and anxiety start to set in. If you get pulled over, and the officer asks you to exit your vehicle, you are likely suspected of drunk driving, even if you did not imbibe an alcoholic beverage before getting behind the wheel.

You are obligated to know and adhere to traffic laws in Arkansas or any state you might be driving in when a police officer makes a traffic stop. In this state, there are some unique DUI laws you want to be aware of because being charged with this crime, even on a first offense, places your license at risk.

An Arkansas police officer will issue you a driver’s license receipt

If you become subject to a DUI stop in Arkansas, the police officer who approaches your vehicle will no doubt ask to see your driver’s license and vehicle registration documentation. After determining your intoxication, the officer may arrest you for DUI and issue a driver’s license receipt. He or she will exchange this receipt while taking your actual driver’s license into custody.

This is part of the administrative process for DUI arrests in Arkansas. If you have a driver’s license receipt in your possession, it means that you are still allowed to drive a car for 30 days while your DUI case is being adjudicated. After that, you will incur an automatic license suspension, even on a first offense.

You can request a hearing to contest the suspension

You can request a hearing to contest the automatic suspension of your driver’s license within seven days of your arrest. You can also request a hearing, even if you are not contesting the suspension, for the purpose of determining whether you qualify for a contingent license to drive or an interlock ignition device in your vehicle.

Administrative actions versus criminal proceedings

In addition to administrative penalties that might affect your ability to drive in Arkansas when you are facing DUI charges on a first offense, you may also have to navigate criminal proceedings. Various issues may have occurred during your traffic stop or arrest, which might enable you to request a case dismissal or challenge the evidence in your case.

Being fully aware of your rights and knowing where to seek additional support to help you navigate the criminal justice system increases your chances of obtaining a positive outcome if the state has charged you with drunk driving.