Wyatt Hardy, PLC

Criminal, Family and Probate Law

Wyatt Hardy, PLC

Criminal, Family and Probate Law


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What happens to your license when you’re charged with DWI?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2023 | DWI Defense

Whether you commit your first or second driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense in Arkansas, your driving privileges are immediately suspended. This can raise many questions for drivers unfamiliar with the state’s laws.

Are you immediately banned from driving? Can you restore your driving privileges? And can you stop a license suspension or revocation?

License taken away

When an officer stops you for a DWI offense, they will take away your driver’s license as part of Arkansas Administrative Law. You’ll then be issued a notice that confirms the suspension, revocation or disqualification of your driving privileges based on your history of prior offenses. Officials will suspend your license for your first to third DWI offenses. But beginning with your fourth offense, officials will revoke your license instead.

Although your license is confiscated, you’ll be allowed to continue to drive for 30 days temporarily with the receipt of your driver’s license and the notice as proof of identification. However, this option only applies if the confiscated license was valid during your arrest.

However, once the 30 days are up, you’re considered without a valid license. If an officer catches you again and you don’t have a valid license to show, you could face a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Challenging a license disqualification

You have seven days from the date of your license suspension or revocation to contest the disqualification. Once you’ve filed a request, the state Office of Driver Services or an authorized agent will schedule a hearing in the county nearest to your location.

During the hearing, the burden of proof lies on the state. While the officer that charged you won’t be present in the hearing, their written report will be used as evidence against you.

You could be present for your hearing, but you can also hire a legal professional to represent you. If this happens, you may have to provide testimony over the phone or through a conference call.

If you lose the hearing, you can still appeal the decision in circuit court. You should do this before the 30-day stay on your license suspension/revocation expires. But if your case comes to this point, a lawyer can help with the appeal process by protecting your privileges in court. And if the judge decides to push through with the penalty, a lawyer might be able to convince them to instead modify your license into a restricted one. A restricted license might require you to drive with an ignition interlock device, but it might be the better alternative to license revocation.