Alaska Drunk Driving Laws

When is a Driver Considered to be Legally Drunk in Alaska?

  • Non-commercial drivers age 21+ are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 or more.
  • Drivers of commercial vehicles are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .04 percent or greater.
  • Drivers under 21 are legally drunk when a chemical test reveals any alcohol concentration in their blood or breath.

Penalties for Drunk Driving in Alaska

  • First-time offenders face at least 72 hours in prison and a fine of at least $1,500. The driver’s license revocation period is at least 90 days.
  • A person who commits a second DWI within 15 years of the first conviction faces at least 20 days in prison and a fine of at least $3,000. The driver’s license revocation period is at least one year.
  • A person who commits a third DWI within 15 years of the previous convictions faces at least 60 days in prison and a fine of at least $4,000. The driver’s license revocation period is at least three years. If, however, the offender committed the third offense within 10 years of the previous convictions, the minimum prison sentence is 120 days, and the minimum fine is $10,000. In that case, driving privileges are permanently revoked. After 10 years, the offender can request that his or her license be restored, provided that the offender has not been convicted of a crime since revocation and that he or she can provide proof of insurance.
  • A person who commits a fourth DWI within 15 years of the previous convictions faces at least 120 days in prison and a fine of at least $5,000. The driver’s license revocation period is at least five years. If, however, the offender committed the fourth offense within 10 years of two previous convictions, the minimum prison sentence is 240 days, and the minimum fine is $10,000. In that case, driving privileges are permanently revoked. After 10 years, the offender can request that his or her license be restored, provided that the offender has not been convicted of a crime since revocation and that he or she can provide proof of insurance.
  • A person who commits a fifth DWI within 15 years of the previous convictions faces at least 240 days in prison and a fine of at least $6,000. The driver’s license revocation period is at least five years. If, however, the offender committed the fifth offense within 10 years of two previous convictions, the minimum prison sentence is 360 days, and the minimum fine is $10,000. Driving privileges are permanently revoked. After 10 years, the offender can request that his or her license be restored, provided that the offender has not been convicted of a crime since revocation and that he or she can provide proof of insurance.
  • A person who commits a DWI who has been convicted of drunk driving five or more times within a 15-year period faces at least 360 days in prison and a fine of at least $7,000. The driver’s license revocation period is at least five years. If, however, the offender committed the offense within 10 years of two previous convictions, the minimum fine is $10,000. Driving privileges are permanently revoked. After 10 years, the offender can request that his or her license be restored, provided that the offender has not been convicted of a crime since revocation and that he or she can provide proof of insurance.

Commercial Drivers

Commercial drivers operating commercial vehicles are considered to be under the influence if their BAC, taken within four hours of the alleged offense, is .04.

In addition to other penalties that may be imposed under Alaska’s DWI laws, a commercial driver who commits a first DWI while driving any vehicle will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for at least one year. If, however, the offense was committed while the driver was operating a commercial vehicle and transporting hazardous materials, the disqualification period is at least three years. If a commercial driver is convicted of a second DWI while driving any vehicle, the offender will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for life, which may or may not be reduced to 10 years.

In addition, under Alaska law, those convicted of operating a commercial vehicle while under the influence are sentenced as though they had been previously convicted of the offense. Thus, for example, if a commercial driver is a first-time DWI offender, the driver faces the penalties normally imposed on second-time offenders.

Drivers Under 21

Drivers under 21 commit the offense of “minor operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol” if a chemical test reveals any alcohol concentration in the minor’s blood or breath. A minor cited under this law is prohibited from operating a vehicle, aircraft, or boat for 24 hours after the citation is issued.

If convicted, first-time offenders must pay a $500 fine and serve 20 to 40 hours of community work service related to education about the prevention or treatment of alcohol abuse or perform such other work service as the judge orders. Second-time offenders must pay a $1,000 fine and serve 40 to 60 hours of community work service related to education about the prevention or treatment of alcohol misuse or perform such other work service as the judge orders. Those who violate this law three or more times, must pay a $1,500 fine and perform 50 to 80 hours of community work service related to education about the prevention or treatment of alcohol misuse or perform such other work service as the judge orders.

Ignition Interlock

  • The sentencing judge may order any person convicted of DWI to use an ignition interlock device after driving privileges are restored.
  • A person convicted of drunk driving who had a blood alcohol concentration of .16 but less than .24 must use an ignition interlock device for at least six months after regaining driving privileges.
  • A person convicted of drunk driving who had a blood alcohol concentration of .24 or more must use an ignition interlock device for a minimum of one year after regaining driving privileges.

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What is Alaska’s Dram Shop Statute?

Under this statute, an establishment licensed to sell alcohol may be civilly liable for injuries caused by intoxication if it (1) served a visibly drunk person; or (2) knowingly served someone who is underage.

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When Can a Person Not Licensed to Sell Alcohol be Civilly Liable for Injuries Caused by Intoxication?

Under Alaska law, anyone who knowingly serves alcohol to a person under 21 will be held civilly liable for injuries the minor causes to himself or to another person, so long as the minor’s intoxication substantially contributed to the injury.

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Criminal Penalties for Selling or Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor

In Alaska, it is a crime for any person to sell or otherwise furnish alcohol to a person under 21. Violators of this law faces up to one year in prison and are subject to pay a fine of up to $10,000. If, however, the minor who received the alcohol causes serious injury to or the death of another person while under the influence of alcohol, the person who sold or furnished the alcohol faces up to five years in prison and is subject to pay a fine of up to $50,000. A person who has a previous conviction of selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor and commits another offense within five years of the first conviction also faces up to five years in prison and is subject to pay a fine of up to $50,000.

Need more information on state laws? Learn more about the laws where you live.

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Note: Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, although if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.

Please note: All of our lawyers are licensed to practice in the state of Pennsylvania. We also have lawyers licensed to practice in Ohio, and West Virginia and we associate with experienced attorneys in other states.

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