Does a first DUI in Alaska require an IID?

Alaska residents who are convicted of even a first driving under the influence offense may be required to use an ignition interlock device.

Seeing flashing lights in a rear-view mirror can understandably make any driver in Alaska nervous. Whether being stopped for driving slightly over the speed limit, having a brake light that does not work or something else, drivers often become concerned about what will happen to them. In some cases, a traffic stop results in a relatively minor fine. In other cases, however, it can lead to far bigger problems, especially if a driver is eventually charged with driving under the influence.

DUI laws in Alaska

In Alaska, as in other states, a driver with a blood alcohol content of at least 0.08 percent may be subject to a DUI charge. If the driver holds a commercial driving license and was driving for work at the time of the stop, a 0.04 percent blood alcohol content may result in an arrest and a criminal charge.

It is also important for Alaskans to know that they may face criminal charges if they refuse to take a breath or blood test when requested by officers regardless of what their blood alcohol contents might actually be.

Mandatory minimum penalties for first offenses

A first driving under the influence conviction in Alaska is a misdemeanor. State law outlines a mandatory minimum set of penalties that any driver convicted of a first DUI offense may be subject to. Penalties may be more severe that the mandatory minimum depending upon the circumstances. The penalties for DUI convictions are also the same for test refusals.

Included in these mandatory minimum penalties is a fine of $1,500, 72 hours of time in jail, payment of jail costs, substance evaluation and treatment, other surcharges and a 90-day driver's license suspension.

Ignition interlock devices

Some drivers may be eligible to have their driving privileges reinstated at least on a limited basis if they install and use ignition interlock devices. These are essentially breath test devices that are connected to vehicle ignitions. Drivers must provide breath samples and pass them successfully before being allowed to start vehicles to drive. Additional samples are also required by drivers at random times while actually driving.

The cost of renting IID units and any required servicing of them is to be paid by the drivers. IIDs are not able to be used to reinstate commercial driving privileges nor are they available when felony charges are involved.

Getting help after a DUI arrest

Clearly the consequences of even one driving under the influence arrest can be extensive. People who have been arrested and charged with a DUI should talk to an attorney to learn what options they have for their defenses.