Alaska DUI and DWI Laws
Alaska is an ‘implied consent’ state. That means that all drivers implicitly agree to be tested for intoxication at the discretion of law enforcement. A pedestrian cannot be legally required to give blood, urine, breath, or hair samples to police – but any driver who appears intoxicated can. Refusal to submit to a breathalyzer or any other drug test will mean license revocation. It’s best to know that before you hoist a glass.
There’s an obvious and critical danger to driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. (Prescription drugs that impair your ability to drive also fall under that category.) It’s something you should take seriously for safety’s sake – both yours and others’ – but it’s also severely punished under Alaska DUI laws.
A blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher will put you over the legal limit; a BAC of 0.15% or higher will be classified as an aggravated DUI, which means harsher penalties. Minors with any alcohol in their system at all can have their license revoked according to the state’s zero tolerance policy.
Fines and Penalties
Unlike most other Alaska traffic tickets, a DUI will bring about a battery of consequences, beginning with mandatory alcohol assessment, education, and treatment. A first conviction will mean a 90-day Alaska license suspension; a second will mean a year; and a third will result in a 3-year suspension from driving privileges.
Your car is on the line as well. An ignition interlock device is mandatory after the first conviction, meaning you will not be able to operate your car without passing a breathalyzer test (meaning 0.00% BAC.). After a second conviction, your vehicle can be confiscated.
Even more relevant to your daily life: any and all DUI convictions will mean jail time. That’s 3 days for a first conviction, 20 for a second, and 60 for a third. As for fines, they range from $1,500 the first time to $4,000 the third.
Financially, it’s likely that the fines will be the least of your worries. You can’t legally operate a car without insurance, and your rates will probably skyrocket after a conviction. Even a first offense can mean double or even triple your monthly rates – and that financial burden goes on more or less indefinitely.
That said, insurance company policies vary, and exact dollar figures are unpredictable. You may be able to negotiate a lower rate with the aid of a defensive driving course, but not all companies permit such a strategy for a DUI conviction.
It’s critical to engage the services of a DUI attorney, not only to protect your rights, but to reduce the consequences of any future Alaska traffic law violations. Points add up on your driving record, and if you can negotiate a reduced sentence now, it can help you avoid more serious punishments like license revocation should you commit more infractions (even those not related to DUI.)
Of course, the best way to protect yourself – and everyone else on the road – is to stay sober behind the wheel.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions – we’re here every day of the week!