Alaska DUIs and DWIs
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Motorists who commit an Alaska DUI and DWI violation will incur tough charges and penalties, as driving intoxicated is against the law. State agencies typically issue strict penalties for several offenses, including elevated breath alcohol concentration (BAC) and refusal to take a chemical testing. While the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may revoke or suspend the offender’s driving privileges for a specific time period due to DUI. State courts will issue separate punishments, generally in the form of large fines, imprisonment and license revocations. Motorists with a suspended license due to a DUI must apply to reinstate their credential by following the steps as set by AK DMV. To learn more about DUI charges in AK and the applicable consequences, continue reading the following sections.
DUI Citations and Convictions in Alaska
Motorists who commit a DUI violation will be arrested by a police officer and cited for the offense. If you receive a DWI ticket for failing or refusing a breathalyzer test, you will generally need to settle your case in court. If convicted, the penalties will include a revocation of your driving privileges, a jail sentence and steep fines, as well as demerit points on your driving record. Even if drivers are not found guilty of the offense by the presiding court or they fail to complete the process of beating a DUI, they will still face an administrative license revocation set by the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Alaska DUI Violations and Penalties
You will be in violation of DUI laws if you operate a vehicle with a BAC level higher than the permitted limit or refuse to submit to a chemical test. The DUI penalties in Alaska will depend on your age, the number of violations that already exist on your driving transcript, the type of offense and more. State motor vehicle rules and regulations are not as strict for first-time offenders as is the case with repeat DUI offenders. In general, the higher the number of DWI convictions on your license or driving record, the more severe the consequences:
First DUI Offense
The administrative penalty for a first DUI in Alaska is a 90-day driver’s license revocation. Note that the DMV-imposed revocation may be concurrent with or following a revocation administered by the presiding court. The consequences that apply following your first conviction will also include a three-day jail sentence and a $1,500 fine.
Second DUI Offense
Drivers convicted of a DUI for the second time will face a one-year revocation of their driving license, 20 days in jail and a fine of $3,000. Other punishments and additional drunk driving fines may also apply depending on the circumstances.
Third and Subsequent DUI Offenses
Getting a DUI in Alaska for the third time or any subsequent violations after will result in longer jail sentences, higher fines and extended periods of license suspension or revocation. A third DUI is penalized with a three-year license revocation, a 60-day jail sentence and a $4,000 fine. Subsequent DUI offenses will lead to a license revocation of up to five years, a maximum of 360 days in jail and a fine of up to $7,000.
Note: Driving under the influence is also illegal for minors and commercial drivers. All motorists will face punishments in the form of license revocations, steep fines, community service and suspension of driving privileges in these instances.
Drinking and Driving in Alaska
Strict Alaska drunk driving laws regulate drivers’ behavior while behind the wheel, as consuming alcohol or drugs while driving is a major threat to the safety of all drivers. Since motorists driving under the influence may cause serious car crashes resulting in injuries and even death, they will face even more severe penalties from both the state courts and DMV.
Alaska DUI Attorneys
Hiring an experienced AK drunk driving attorney upon committing a DUI violation is a necessary step toward understanding the charges against you and minimizing your penalties. By obtaining the services of an experienced lawyer, you will be able to familiarize yourself with the state driving laws and prepare a strong defense based on your situation. A good attorney must also be able to help you complete any required documentation and advise you on the best course of action.
Reinstating a Suspended Drivers License in Alaska
One of the consequences upon getting a DUI is having your driver’s license suspended for a specific period of time. To reinstating an Alaska DUI suspended license, you will need to apply at a nearby AK DMV location and finalize the following steps:
- Pass the written, vision and road test (if required).
- Present proof of future financial responsibility, such as SR-22 insurance.
- Provide payment for the set fees.
- Submit proof of identity and birth.
- Present proof of an ignition interlock device and completion of an alcohol treatment program (if applicable).
Alaska Alcohol Awareness Classes
Enrolling into driver’s education courses may be a requirement imposed on DUI offenders who were convicted in court. Motorists with a DWI conviction on their report may need to participate in an approved DUI course or treatment program that is part of the Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP), and file proof of completion with the AK DMV. Failure to enroll in a traffic school program (if required) may further complicate the process of restoring your driver’s license.
Alaska SR-22 Insurance
Part of the procedure of reinstating a suspended license is submitting proof of future financial responsibility, also referred to as an SR-22 form. Motorists will also be required to maintain this type of high-risk insurance for a specific length of time unless they want to face further penalties. Drunk driving offenders will need to carry an insurance certificate for the following periods of time:
- Five years after the ending date of a first DUI
- 10 years upon a second offense
- 20 years after a third violation
If you have committed more than three offences, you will be requires to carry proof of this insurance for the lifetime of your license.
Alaska Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI
Per the Implied Consent law, you must submit to a chemical test when asked to do so by a law enforcement officer. If you fail to comply, you will be in violation of Alaska driving laws and may incur multiple charges. Tough AK DUI penalties will also apply if your chemical test shows that you have been operating with an illegal amount of alcohol or drugs in your system. Under state rules and regulations, drivers 21 years of age or older will be punished for driving with a BAC of .08 percent or higher. Commercial motor vehicle operators are prohibited from operating with a BAC at .04 percent or more. Minors, on the other hand, will face underage DUI charges and administrative and criminal penalties for driving with any quantity of alcohol in their system.
Note: Alaska is one of 11 states that do not have traditional open container laws. This means that it is not illegal to have an open container of alcohol inside a motor vehicle. However, the driver of the vehicle may not drink and drive under any circumstances.
Hardship License in Alaska
If your license has been suspended due to a DUI charge, you may be able to obtain a hardship license that will allow you to drive for business or medical care purposes. However, not every driver charged with a DUI will be eligible for this type of limited license. For example, if your driving record shows that you have incurred a charge due refusing a breathalyzer test, the DMV will not issue you a hardship license. Also, note that this procedure requires you to follow specific steps, such as submitting an application form, arranging payment for a processing fee and completing any necessary steps set by your local DMV office.