Law enforcement officers must have a good reason for pulling someone over for the suspicion of driving under the influence. However, there are numerous reasons an officer can pull someone over, and some are not causally related to how the driver is operating the vehicle.
The state of Alaska takes DUI conviction seriously, and the consequences can be severe.
Reasons for a DUI stop
According to FindLaw, an officer must have reasonable suspicion to pull someone over for a DUI, or else there may be a dismissal of the case. Some valid reasons relate to the person’s driving. For example, swerving, turning illegally, erratic driving, frequent braking or excessively slow driving are red flags.
However, other reasons may not be due to driving behavior. An officer may pull over a driver for having a burnt-out tail light and then suspect drunk driving after talking to the driver. In addition, a lot of people do not know that a person can get a DUI even when not driving. An officer may be suspicious if someone is just sitting in the car or passed out in the back seat.
According to the Alaska Court System, penalties for a DUI vary based on numerous factors. Financial and legal consequences include
- Fines that range from $1,500 to $10,000
- Jail sentences that range from 72 hours to one year
- Driver’s license revocation
- Alcohol evaluation and potential treatment program
Other potential penalties may include driver improvement course, vehicle forfeit, community service and taking an alcohol determent drug. For those in the workforce, additional consequences may include disclosing the DUI to an employer or the inability to renew an occupational license.