Motorists in Alaska who face penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol may wonder if their alleged offense constitutes a misdemeanor or a felony. The Alaska Court System website notes that these penalties not only count for alcohol use but controlled substances and inhalants as well.
Those facing DUI charges may want to understand the difference between certain penalties and what they mean in terms of charges, possible jail time and how they could affect one’s status as an Alaskan motorist.
Several different offenses and circumstances constitute a DUI as a misdemeanor. Many of these relate to the manner of the offense and may result in several different punishments, including:
- A three-day jail sentence
- A $1,500 fine for first offenders
- A 90-day loss of license
Alleged offenders who refuse to take a breath test may receive a mandatory monitoring period or receive community service, depending on which a local judge chooses. Alaska motorists who commit misdemeanors while committing a DUI usually face less serious punishments than those who commit a felony.
Felony DUI charges
Felony charges for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol usually involve drivers with repeat offenses. For example, a driver with two DUIs on his or her record who refuses a breath test after an officer suspects drunk driving will face felony charges under Alaska law. The fine for felony drunk driving carries a minimum charge of $10,000, an amount that could have serious ramifications on that individual’s financial future. Those who face felony charges may also lose their driver’s license for a minimum of ten years or have it revoked permanently.
Some Alaska drivers who commit a felony DUI may also face up to a year of jail time. However, this depends on the number of offenses committed.