In most states, a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 is considered the legal limit. Typically, as long as people keep their BAC below this level, they tend to avoid charges or arrests. Because of this, in some states, drivers refuse to take the breathalyzer test altogether. If the police officers cannot prove the driver’s BAC was beyond the legal limit, then they may face no charges.
This is not always the case in Arkansas. In 2016, ABC 7 reported on several instances of drivers getting arrested for having BAC levels at just .04 and .05. In fact, both people reportedly faced charges for DWI. The news report states that generally speaking, officers might exercise some discretion for BAC readings between .05 and .08.
This stems from the practice of using other tests of judging a driver’s sobriety. If they have crashed their vehicles, for instance, or fail to follow the officer’s finger during a field test, they may not be sober. These same tests and the weight they carry may also prove true for boating. In fact, minors often get charged with a DUI for a BAC of just .02.
In the summer of 2019, THV11 reported that repeated offenses of drunk driving remained a serious problem in Arkansas. Police officers arrested drivers more than a thousand times annually in the state under suspicion of DWI.
Prevalence is one of the many reasons officers are less lenient than in some other states when it comes to DWI offenses. Coupled with the advocating of family and friends who lost their loved ones to DWI crashes, officers may only continue to get more strict as the years go by.