Drivers age 18-20 are prohibited from using a hand-held cell phone while driving. Learner’s and intermediate license holders may not use interactive communication devices while driving. Text messaging is prohibited for drivers of all ages. No driver may use a handheld wireless telephone when passing a school building or school zone during school hours when children are present and outside the building; or in a highway work zone when a highway worker is present. School bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving, except in emergencies and while parked.
No prohibition on wearing of headsets while driving.
Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating beverages, with the illegal per se limit set at 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (.08 BAC). Utah’s per se limit is 0.05 BAC. All 50 states and the District of Columbia set the legal drinking age at 21.
Every state’s chemical test law has ‘‘an implied consent’’ provision providing that any person operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, who is suspected of driving while intoxicated, consents to a chemical test to determine if he or she is inebriated. Failure to submit or pass such a test may cause the driver’s license to be suspended or revoked regardless of any court action finding the person innocent of the charge.
The most comprehensive resource on U.S. impaired driving laws is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Digest of Impaired Driving and Selected Beverage Control Laws. NHTSA’s Digest is updated annually.
Arkansas requires the use of ignition interlocks for all impaired driving offenders.
Move Over Law
State law requires drivers approaching stationary emergency response vehicles that are displaying flashing lights, including wreckers or tow vehicles, traveling in the same direction, to move to the farthest lane from the vehicle if safe and possible to do so, or to slow to a speed appropriate for road and weather conditions. Also included in the law are utility vehicles.
Seat belts are required for the driver and front seat passengers age 15 and older.
Violation of the seat belt law is a standard offense.
Riding in back of an unenclosed pickup truck is not permitted, except for employees on duty; some other exceptions apply.
Child Passenger Safety
Children ages 6 until 15 or at least 60 lbs. are required to be restrained in a seat belt.
Child restraints are required for children under age 6 and under 60 lbs.
All occupants must wear a seat belt when the vehicle is being operated by a driver with an intermediate license.
Violation of the child restraint law is a standard offense.
Vehicles are not required to stop unless directed by warning signals or when train is approaching.
Buses transporting passengers and vehicles transporting hazardous waste must stop.
Vehicles must stop for school bus loading or unloading, unless on a separate roadway of a highway divided by 20-foot strip.
School buses must be painted “national school bus yellow.”