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Drunk Driving Defense Laws in Alaska

With its wintertime ice and snow, Alaska has some of the nation’s most dangerous roadways even when drivers are sober. Each state treats drunk driving charges differently, with different penalties for multiple DUIs. Understanding how your state handles drunk driving can help you better understand your rights and find a knowledgeable Alaska DUI defense attorney to help resolve your case.

Alaska Drunk Driving Laws

Alaska law states that the legal alcohol limit within four hours of operating a motor vehicle is .08% BAC. For all offenses, there is a possible penalty of mandatory attendance of a court-ordered alcohol program and a prohibition on using alcohol for a specific amount of time.

For commercial drivers, the legal limit is lowered to .04% BAC. For drivers under 21, Alaska has a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol, meaning you can face a consequence if under 21 with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system.

Implied consent: Yes

Enhanced penalties: .15% BAC or more; driving under the influence with a child in the vehicle; prior convictions, causing an accident resulting in serious bodily injury or death

Criminal and Civil Penalties:

  • First offense: Class A misdemeanor with a mandatory 72 consecutive hours of imprisonment; $1,500 fine minimum; license suspension for 6 months and requirement of installing an ignition interlock restriction.
  • Second offense: Class A misdemeanor with not less than 20 days imprisonment; minimum of a $3,000 fine; one-year license revocation; an ignition interlock restriction; and a court-ordered alcohol evaluation
  • Third offense in under 10 years: Class C felony with a minimum 120 days imprisonment; $10,000 fine minimum; license suspension and an ignition interlock restriction; court-ordered alcohol evaluation; and vehicle forfeiture

How Much Could an Alaska DUI Cost?

The State of Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles estimates a first-time DUI can cost up to an amount of $24, 265. For those who have additional DUI convictions, the costs increase dramatically.

Other penalties for misdemeanor drunk driving in Alaska include:

  • Attending an approved driver improvement course
  • Taking a prescription drug to inhibit alcohol consumption
  • Performing community service
  • Paying for any damages related to the DUI arrest
  • Vehicle impound

For felony DUI convictions in Alaska, the stakes rise even higher. Along with paying costly fines, defendants in felony cases can lose their driving privileges for life after the second felony offense and must complete a lengthy jail sentence.

Alaska courts also impose severe penalties for commercial drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence including loss of commercial driving privileges and for felony convictions, possible forfeiture of all commercial vehicles registered to the defendant.

Defending Against a DUI Charge in Alaska

If you want to challenge the DUI charge and avoid a criminal conviction, you need a strong legal defense. Possible legal defenses for Alaska DUI include violation of 4th Amendment violations and failure to be properly informed of your rights before a chemical test. Your Alaska criminal defense lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor for a plea agreement or if you get found guilty argue mitigating circumstances at sentencing to reduce the DUI penalties.

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