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Oct. 28, 2016

Drunk driving is a serious issue in Alaska. Despite authorities' efforts, the problem seems to persist. For some individuals, charges do, too.

Anyone charged with drunk driving faces serious consequences. However, when someone has subsequent or multiple offenses, the penalties run higher.

Recently, a 65-year-old man from Anchorage, Alaska, was arrested after allegedly driving under the influence. Moreover, this was the suspect's second arrest for the offense in just one week.

An investigation began when a report came into Alaska State Troopers. The report asserted that a pickup truck had almost clipped a pedestrian near Mile 109 Seward Highway. After the call, local authorities stopped the suspect's vehicle approximately five miles from the reported location. According to troopers, the man also almost struck a guardrail in the matter.

In their investigation, law enforcement discovered that the man had been picked up just five days before the incident on a separate drunk driving charge. The suspect had been released but was purportedly ordered not to drink alcohol, pending his next appearance.

The consequences of drunk driving in Alaska

In the aforementioned case, the motorist will face a difficult battle, as he is facing two charges at the same time. He has also violated an order on his conditional release (for the first offense). If he is convicted, he will have to deal with hefty repercussions.

There are detailed penalties associated with a conviction for driving under the influence. If a person is convicted of drunk driving for the first time, he or she is subject to three days behind bars, a 90-day driver's license suspension, fines and additional jail costs. Moreover, the conviction, despite being a misdemeanor, can affect one's employment and educational endeavors. It can also raise one's car insurance rates.

If a person is faced with a second conviction for the offense (within a 15-year period), this is punishable by at least 20 days behind bars, $3,000 in fines and a license revocation for one year.

If a defendant is guilty of a third offense (within a decade of the first conviction), this is considered a felony. A convicted offender will face at least 120 days behind bars, $10,000 in fines and a loss of driving privileges for life.

The good news is that an arrest for driving under the influence does not automatically equate to penalties. This is just a suspicion or accusation. The prosecution has the burden of proving a case against a defendant. If the state cannot present sufficient evidence, which suggests a suspect is guilty of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant will be acquitted of the charge.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence, do not hesitate to speak with a qualified drunk driving lawyer. A professional versed in DUI laws can help sort through the evidence in your case.