Four reasons to hire an attorney after an Alaska DUI arrest

When arrested for DUI in Alaska, some choose to represent themselves, but there are a number of reasons why it may benefit them to obtain legal counsel.

Every day, people across Alaska are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, or DUI. When they are facing drunk driving charges, many motorists choose to act as their own legal representatives. However, there are numerous benefits to hiring a DUI lawyer, which may affect the impact of their arrest on their current situations and futures.

Familiarity with the state's laws

Drivers in Alaska may be charged with DUI if they are driving a vehicle and have a blood alcohol content level of .08 percent or higher. They may also be arrested for drunk driving if it appears their ability to operate an automobile is impaired due to alcohol consumption. Depending on whether they have previously been convicted of driving under the influence, among other factors, DUIs may be charged as misdemeanor or felony level offenses.

Some may feel as though they have to accept the consequences of a drunk driving arrest, even if they were not intoxicated. Attorneys, however, may use their familiarity with the laws to ensure drivers' rights were upheld during the traffic stop and that they were charged with the appropriate level offense. If violations occurred, they may seek a reduction or dismissal of the charges.

Casting doubt on the evidence

Drunk driving arrests are often based on law enforcement officers' observations during contact and while performing field sobriety tests, as well as on breath test results. When mounted against them, poor roadside test performance and an elevated breath test reading may seem insurmountable. However, there are factors that may affect such results, which DUI lawyers are generally familiar with. Attorneys who focus on DUI defense may understand how to best present such factors to a judge or jury in order to call the accuracy and validity of such evidence into question.

Offering explanations

Sometimes, driving violations or people's behavior after they are stopped by the authorities have explanations other than intoxication. DUI attorneys may know how to frame drivers' actions in a favorable light, and provide reasoning other than that they were under the influence. For example, a driver stopped by law enforcement officers refuses to perform field sobriety tests when asked. The authorities may present this refusal as a sign the motorist was trying to hide his intoxication. The driver's lawyer may suggest instead that he was acting within his rights and protecting his interests.

Limiting the fall out

If people are convicted of DUI in Alaska, they may face a range of consequences. For a first offense, this may include at least three days in jail, a minimum fine of $1,500 and a 90-day driver's license revocation, among other penalties. While the law sets minimum and maximum sentencing standards, there is often wiggle room in the middle. DUI lawyers may draw on their knowledge of the sentencing options to push for the least harsh penalties, thus limiting the short-term and long-term impact of the arrest.

Protecting the future

Drunk driving is prosecuted aggressively in Alaska. As such, a DUI arrest may profoundly affect people's personal and professional lives. An attorney may help those charged with alcohol-related offenses to understand their rights and options, as well as build a solid defense.