If you have ever been charged with drunk driving in Alaska, you may know that the state takes the offense extremely seriously. So much so, in fact, that WalletHub ranked it third in the United States in terms of the strictness of its Driving Under the Influence laws, with only Arizona and Georgia ranking above it.
To determine rankings, WalletHub looked at a number of factors, among them the harshness of each state's criminal penalties for drinking and driving, such as the length of time offenders must serve behind bars, and the amount of any fines imposed. Also factoring in were the various steps each state took to prevent future incidents of drunk driving, such as increasing patrols, operating checkpoints or having additional penalties for motorists who drink and drive with children in the car. Though Alaska ranked 22nd in terms of its preventative tactics, it again ranked third in the nation in terms of the severity of its punishments.
Penalties for Alaska's DUI offenders
Even first-time Alaska DUI offenders must serve a minimum of three days behind bars. If you are convicted again, you must serve at least 20 days in addition to paying a minimum fine of $1,500 for a first conviction and $3,000 for a second. Your vehicle, too, may be impounded, and you should be prepared to lose your license for 90 days. Additionally, you can expect your wallet to take another sizeable hit when your auto insurance rates increase by an average of 80 percent, which is a bigger increase than in all but four of the other areas surveyed. While states differ in terms of how long an old DUI conviction will factor into a new one, penalty-wise (repeat offenders tend to face harsher penalties nationwide), in Alaska, this remains the case for 15 years following the initial offense.
Furthermore, even a first-time drunk driving conviction in Alaska means you must have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for at least six months. In order to power up your car with the device installed, you first have to blow into it to prove you are not too impaired to safely drive it.
As a U.S. citizen, the severity of the punishments you can expect to face following a DUI conviction vary broadly based on where in the nation you live, but if you are convicted in Alaska, the penalties are swift and harsh. If you have been charged with a drunk driving offense, you may want to contact an attorney.