Arkansas

Highway safety laws differ from state to state. The summary information here can be used to compare laws in specific categories. We monitor legislative changes and update this information as needed.

DUI/DWI
BAC defined as illegal per se 0.08
Administrative license suspension 1st offense? 6 months
Restore driving privileges during suspension? yes1
RESTRICTIONS ON CELLPHONE USE AND TEXTING
Hand-held ban drivers 18 or older but younger than 21; school and highway work zones
Young drivers all cellphone ban drivers younger than 18
Texting ban all drivers
Enforcement primary: texting by all drivers and cellphone use by school bus drivers; secondary: cellphone use by young drivers, drivers in school and work zones2
MAXIMUM POSTED SPEED LIMITS
Rural interstates (mph) 70;
Urban interstates (mph) 55
Other limited access roads (mph) 603
Other roads (mph) 55
MAXIMUM POSTED SPEED LIMITS FOR TRUCKS
Rural interstates (mph) 65
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
To get a learners license you must:
Have a minimum age of 144
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Before getting a license or restricted license you must:
Have a mandatory holding period of 6 months4
Have a minimum supervised driving time of none
Have a minimum age of 165
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Restrictions during intermediate or restricted license stage:
Nighttime restrictions 11 p.m.-4 a.m.; duration: until age 18
Passenger restrictions

(family members excepted unless otherwise noted)
no more than 1 passenger younger than 21; duration: until age 18
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Minimum age at which restrictions may be lifted:
Nighttime restrictions 18
Passenger restrictions 18
REGULAR LICENSING RENEWAL CYCLE
Length of regular renewal cycle 4 years
OLDER DRIVER SPECIAL LICENSING PROVISIONS
Accelerated renewal none
Other provisions none
CHILD RESTRAINTS
Must be in child restraint 5 years and younger and less than 60 pounds
Adult safety belt permissible 6 through 14 years or 60+ pounds
Maximum fine 1st offense $100
Seating preference law states no preference for rear seat
Children not covered 15+ years in rear seat
SAFETY BELT USE
Initial effective date 07/15/91
Standard enforcement? yes, effective 06/30/09
Who is covered? In what seats? 15+ years in front seat
Maximum fine 1st offense $256
Can nonuse decrease monetary awards for injuries in lawsuits? no
MOTORCYCLE HELMET USE
Motorcyclists covered 20 and younger
BICYCLE HELMET USE
Covered by state law no law
PICKUP TRUCKS: RESTRICTIONS ON RIDING IN CARGO AREAS
Restrictions on riding in cargo areas yes7
Gaps in coverage employees on duty; people within bodies of trucks in a space intended for merchandise
LOW-SPEED VEHICLES
On which roads are low-speed vehicles permitted? roads on which a low speed vehicle would not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic
What is the top speed permissible for low-speed vehicles? 25 mph
MINITRUCKS
Initial effective date 07/30/09
Where permitted roads with a posted speed limit of 55 mph or less excluding interstate highways and controlled access highways if vehicle is being used exclusively for farm purposes
Speed restrictions 55 mph
Vehicle classification under state law mini-truck

1Drivers usually must demonstrate special hardship to justify restoring privileges during suspension, and then privileges often are restricted.

2The laws in Arkansas and California prohibit police from stopping a vehicle to determine if a driver is in compliance with the law. Clearly, that language prohibits the use of checkpoints to enforce the law, but it has been interpreted as the functional equivalent of secondary provisions that typically state the officer may not stop someone suspected of a violation unless there is other, independent, cause for a stop.

3In Arkansas, the speed limit may be raised on particular two-lane or four-lane highways to 65 mph if based on traffic and engineering studies.

4In Arkansas, 14 year-olds can drive with an instruction permit after passing a written test. After passing a road test they are eligible for a learner's license. Unsupervised driving is not permitted by holders of either the instruction permit or learner's license. The combined holding period for the permit and learner's license is six months.

5In Arkansas, applicants for an intermediate license must be 16 and must be crash/violation-free for six months. Licensees younger than 18 are prohibited from transporting passengers who are unrestrained.

6Arkansas rewards belt use by reducing moving violation fines by $10 if a law enforcement officer notes that the driver is compliant with the belt use law.

7This provision is designed to prohibit riding on hoods, fenders, and other places not designed for passengers. The exemption for people in the body of a truck applies to enclosed areas like the cargo area of a straight truck or van.