Anyone who drives a car in Alaska automatically consents to take a blood or breath test when suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or any other substance. Also, drivers are subject to a preliminary analysis, such as a Breathalyzer, if they are involved in an accident or commit a traffic violation.
An officer must have probable cause to stop a driver believed to be under the influence before engaging the implied consent rule to determine whether their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the 0.08% limit. Refusing to take a breath or chemical test in Alaska is considered a separate criminal offense.
Potential penalties for refusing to take a sobriety test
Alaska has some of the toughest DUI laws in the nation. A driver who refuses a breath or chemical test for a first offense faces these minimum penalties:
- Jail: 72 consecutive hours
- Fine: $1,500
- Ignition interlock device: six months
- Imprisonment costs: $330 for first the three days, $14 for each additional day
- License revocation: 90 days
Know your rights if charged with DUI
Refusing a Breathalyzer test in Alaska can be just as serious as a DUI conviction, so it may be in a driver’s best interest to comply and challenge the results later in court. When stopped by an officer, remember these steps:
- Be cordial and remain calm
- Don’t admit to drinking or provide any specifics if alcohol has been consumed
- Don’t agree to a vehicle search
- Detail the interaction with police
Find experienced legal representation
A DUI conviction in Alaska, also known as OUI (operating under the influence), can lead to costly fines and fees, jail time, revoked driving privileges and other related costs, including insurance rates that can be doubled or tripled, or in some cases, coverage is denied.
An experienced defense attorney here in Alaska can protect a driver’s rights by holding officers accountable that they had probable cause and correctly performed all procedures, including sobriety tests. A successful defense can, in some cases, lead to charges being dropped as well as reduced fines and jail time.