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Do Alaska’s DUI laws cover marijuana use?

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2019 | Firm News

Alaska has some of the strictest DUI laws in the entire country, but the penalties for impaired driving cover more than just getting behind the wheel after too many drinks. You may also face severe penalties for driving after using marijuana. Although it is legal to use marijuana recreationally in Alaska, you may still get arrested and charged if you drive while under the influence of this drug. 

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services states firmly that “driving high is a DUI.” According to the DHSS, you may get arrested for driving while under the influence of marijuana just like alcohol. Marijuana may negatively impact your ability to drive safely by affecting your concentration, perception, coordination, memory and reaction time. It may be difficult to judge your own impairment level when you are high, and driving under the influence of marijuana may double your chances of getting in an accident. 

The DHSS indicates that DUI laws cover more than just driving a car. You may face penalties for operating an ATV, snowmobile, motorcycle or motorized scooter while high. Because Alaska laws do not specify a legal limit for marijuana consumption in relation to driving, a law enforcement officer may determine whether you qualify as impaired and arrest you for DUI. 

If you do get a conviction for marijuana-related DUI, you could face fines, license suspension and jail time. A first offense may incur a 90-day license suspension, a $1,500 fine and 72 hours of jail time. You may also have to get an ignition interlock device to get your license back. Subsequent offenses generally lead to longer suspensions, higher fines and more jail time. 

This information on marijuana DUI laws is intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.