Breathalyzer & Waiver

Have you been convicted of driving while intoxicated? You may be required to have a breathalyzer in your vehicle. Arkansas law A.C.A §5-65-118 says the Office of Driver Services shall require a person with a DWI to have an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. Breathalyzers are only an option for those convicted of a DWI for alcohol, not narcotics. However, in April of 2017, the State Legislators enacted Act 1094, which allows for a waiver of installation if you meet certain conditions. Those conditions are:

1. “The person is required to operate an employer’s motor vehicle in the course and scope of employment and the business entity that owns the vehicle is not owned or controlled by the person;”
2. “The person is certified by a medical doctor as being unable to provide a deep lung breath sample for analysis by an ignition interlock device;” or
3. “A state – certified ignition interlock provider is not available within one hundred (100) miles of the person’s residence.”

If you meet one of these conditions, the court will enter an order waiving the breathalyzer requirement.

For those that do not meet one of these conditions, you will have to follow all of the laws related to ignition interlock devices. The Office of Driver Services will establish the term of your restriction, as well as the calibration setting for the breathalyzer. You will be required to use the breathalyzer for the full term of your restriction. Once you have had the breathalyzer installed, you will have to have it verified by the Office in order for the Office to issue your restricted license. The State provides a list of approved breathalyzer installers. You will also be required to periodically show proof that the breathalyzer is operating properly. The breathalyzer must be serviced and monitored every 67 days or less. The breathalyzer is not provided to you free of charge by the Office of Driver Services. You will be required to “pay the reasonable cost of leasing or buying and monitoring and maintaining” the breathalyzer in your vehicle.

If you have more questions, or are concerned with your own DWI charges, please contact an attorney.

See: A.C.A. § 5-65-118 (2017).