You probably already know this — driving under the influence (DUI) is a BIG NO.
It not only puts your life in danger, but everyone else around you.
To combat the growing number of DUIs in the state, Alaska has implemented some laws to prevent the dangers of drunk driving.
And today, we’re going to give you everything you should know about these Alaska DUI laws.
So shall we?
DUI Laws in Alaska
Here is a breakdown of the DUI laws in Alaska:
- If you are a “non-commercial” driver behind the wheel of a privately owned vehicle and over 21 years of age – The legal limit of your Blood-Alcohol Concentration (B.A.C) is 0.08%. Anything over that is considered drunk driving and punishable by law.
- If you are a “commercial” driver behind the wheel of a container truck weighing 26,000lb s, a 16-passenger vehicle, or vehicle transporting hazardous substances and over 21 years of age – The legal limit of your B.A.C. is only 0.04%. Anything over that is considered driving under the influence.
- Any driver behind the wheel of a private or commercial vehicle below the age of 21 years of age – Any indication of alcohol in your system is illegal.
DUI Testing in Alaska
Now, you can get stopped by police if suspected of DUI. Not only that, but you’ll have to consent to some tests.
Immediately, we think about what we’ve seen on film…
An arguably drunk guy on the road with a police officer. He breathes into a tube the officer holds up to his mouth.
This is an example of preliminary testing conducted on the scene of a road violation.
When you are stopped for a moving violation or causing public and private property damage, bodily injury, or death, your refusal of an on-site breathalyzer will result in an infraction.
Additionally, there are secondary or supplemental tests after that.
Even if you “blow” under the legal limit of a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, you can still be taken in for your road violation. Upon your lawful arrest, you will be brought into the police station and given another test.
Note: depending on your DUI records in the past and overall driving history, you may choose to not take the second test.
Understanding the Blood Alcohol Concentration Level
The blood alcohol level is a tricky business. The federal legal limit is 0.08%. You cannot be charged for drunk driving if you test below that.
However, your blood alcohol concentration may increase over time.
You may have had 1 or 3 beers, and you might be feeling fine. Maybe none of your faculties were hindered by alcohol at the point of getting behind the wheel.
However, the alcohol we ingest gets processed and released into our bloodstream over time. What you weren’t feeling a couple of hours ago may hit you all at once.
You may pass the preliminary breathalyzer test but fail the next one by blowing past the legal limit.
Why? Because the alcohol has now been released into your bloodstream. And, now, you can be charged with a DUI.
If you are confident that you passed the first test and have a clean driving record they can refer to, you could reason out with authority that you would rather not take another test. As kindly and humbly as possible, reason against incriminating yourself by submitting to another test.
However, if you are belligerent and clearly impaired by substances, it will not matter how much you plead your refusal rights.
Your implied consent extends to more than a preliminary breathalyzer if you have prior DUI arrests. Secondary breathalyzer tests, blood, and urine tests for other substances at the station are also added to your implied consent.
Penalties for DUI in Alaska
Here is a breakdown of the penalties you will face for DUI in Alaska:
|Number of Offenses (within fifteen years)||Jail Time (Minimum)||Fines(Minimum)||LicenseSuspension/Revocation(Minimum)|
|First||72 Hours/3 Days||$1,500||90 Days|
|Second||20 Days||$3,000||360 Days/1 Year|
|Third||60 Days||$4,000||3 Years|
|Third (within ten years)||120 Days||$10,000||Permanent Revocation(chance to appeal after ten years)|
|Fourth||120 Days||$5,000||5 Years|
|Fourth (within ten years of two prior convictions)||240 Days||$10,000||Permanent Revocation(chance to appeal after ten years)|
|Fifth||240 Days||$6,000||5 Years|
|Fifth (within ten years of two prior convictions)||360 Days||$10,000||Permanent Revocation(chance to appeal after ten years)|
|More than five offenses (within fifteen years)||360 Days||$7,000||5 Years|
|More than five offenses (within ten years of two prior convictions)||360 Days||$10,000||Permanent Revocation(chance to appeal after ten years)|
Another thing you should note. In Alaska, you can be charged for both a DUI and refusal to take the breathalyzer test. You can be charged and tried for both separately.
Both these charges are already considered criminal misdemeanors and/or felonies.
If you are charged with both together, you may serve your sentence concurrently and be fined less.
If you are charged separately, you will serve your sentences one after another or overlap each other.
How Many Points is DUI in Alaska?
In Alaska, a DUI will give you 10 points on your record. That’s just for the act of driving under the influence itself. What your DUI results in will garner you its own number of points.
Here are the other violations often associated with a DUI:
|Refusal (of submitting to breathalyzer)||10|
|Careless Behavior (while driving)||6|
And, remember, if you acquire 12 points in 12 months, or 18 points in 24 months, the DMV will revoke or suspend your driver’s license.
How Long Will a DUI Stay On Your Record in Alaska?
In other states, the length of time a DUI stays on your record spans from 5 to 10 years.
In Alaska, however, it remains on your record for life.
Because of that, these may be pulled up for reference in all your future violations. That said, it may only be referenced in conjunction with other DUIs within ten to fifteen years of each conviction.
We hope this article helped you understand Alaska’s DUI Laws in-depth. It’s a lot to take in, but these are all worth reading if you are considering driving on Alaskan roadways.
To recap, here is everything we talked about:
- The blood alcohol concentration legally allowed in Alaska for “non-commercial” drivers 21 years or older is 0.08%.
- The blood alcohol concentration legally allowed in Alaska for “commercial” drivers 21 years old or older is 0.04%.
- Any blood alcohol concentration is illegal for drivers under 21 years old.
- You cannot refuse a breathalyzer test on-site.
- You can refuse a second breathalyzer test at the station.
- You can refuse blood, urine, chemical testing for other substances. (Your record will determine whether you are committing an infraction or not).
- You can be charged for Refusal on top of your DUI.
- Jail time, fines, and license suspension or revocation vary with each offense.
- A DUI will garner you 10 points and remain on your record permanently.
As for the biggest takeaway:
DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE!