In Alaska, if an individual drives a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, an inhalant, or a controlled substance, he or she is committing the crime of driving while under the influence. A person is considered driving under the influence if within four hours of driving, the person has a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or more, or the person has 0.08 grams or more of alcohol per 210 liters in his or her breath.
These limits apply to adults over 21. There is zero tolerance for persons under the legal drinking age. A DUI conviction in Alaska will result in a suspended license, imprisonment, fines, and the installation of an ignition interlock device on the defendant's car. Alaska's Department of Public Safety's Website provides a helpful brochure that summarizes the laws and consequences of driving under the influence.
Penalties and Sentencing
As with most crimes, penalties and sentencing for a DUI vary depending on if and how many times one has been previously convicted of a DUI. Depending on the circumstances, a DUI conviction is either a class A misdemeanor or a class C felony. A first offense is a misdemeanor with a minimum prison sentence of 72 hours and a minimum fine of $1,500. A second conviction carries a minimum prison term of 20 days and a minimum fine of $3,000. The minimums continue to increase for multiple convictions. If a person has two previous convictions, a third DUI conviction could result in a class C felony.
Two or more DUI convictions since January 1, 1996 and within 10 years of the present offense results in a class C felony. As a class C felony, there is a minimum $10,000 fine. There are also minimum imprisonment terms: 120 days for two previous convictions, 240 days for three previous convictions, and 360 days for four previous convictions.
Ignition Interlock Device
An ignition interlock device (IID) requires a driver to breathe into it before the car starts. The amount of time that the IID needs to be on a person's car depends on if and how many times an individual has been convicted of a DUI. Even a first conviction will result in the installation of a IID for a minimum of 6 months. Similar to the minimum prison term and fine requirements, the minimum amount of time for an IID increases with each conviction. If a person is convicted under the class C felony definition, then the IID must remain in the car for a minimum of 60 months.
An individual who drives a car in Alaska gives implied consent to submit to a breath or blood test under various circumstances. If an individual is arrested for an offense that arises out of an act that is alleged to have been committed while driving under the influence, he or she is considered to have given implied consent to a test to determine blood alcohol levels.
He or she is also considered to have given implied consent to submit to a chemical test if the individual is involved in an accident that resulted in death or serious physical injury to another person. The refusal to submit to a chemical test is a class A misdemeanor. However, if the DUI falls under the felony classification, then the refusal to submit to a chemical test is a class C felony.
In addition, an individual gives implied consent to a preliminary breath test if he or she was driving a car that is involved in an accident, or committed a moving traffic violation, and the police officer has probable cause to believe that the driver is under the influence. Refusal to submit to a preliminary breath test is an infraction.
No Consent Necessary
Under certain circumstances, law enforcement can administer a chemical test without consent. If a person is unconscious or in a condition that makes the person incapable of refusing a chemical test, then the implied consent to chemical testing stands. Also, if a person is arrested for an offense arising out of acts suspected to have been committed while driving under the influence and that person was involved in an accident that caused death or physical injury to another person, a chemical test may be administered without consent.
Facing Down a DUI Charge in Alaska? Get Legal Help Today
If you or someone close to you is facing a DUI charge in Alaska, it's in your best interest to contact a DUI lawyer in your area. A lawyer can help explain the the law and how it applies in your case and can be your strongest advocate in court. Get in touch with one today and learn more about your rights and options under the law.