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Can you refuse a breath test during an OUI stop in Alaska?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2023 | DUI

If you find yourself pulled over for a suspected OUI situation in Alaska, you may wonder if you have the right to refuse a breath test.

Alaska is an implied consent state, so refusing a breath test could result in a license revocation or other consequences, depending on your situation.

The implied consent law

Alaska’s implied consent law deems that all individuals who operate a motor vehicle on the state’s roads have given their consent to chemical tests to determine their blood alcohol concentration if lawfully arrested for OUI. This means that obtaining a driver’s license in Alaska implies an agreement to submit to breath, blood or urine tests upon arrest for OUI.

The breath test

When law enforcement officers lawfully arrest you for OUI in Alaska, you face consequences if you refuse to submit to a breath test. Refusal entails administrative driver’s license revocation, which is separate from any criminal charges resulting from the OUI arrest.

Administrative license revocation

Upon refusing a breath test, the arresting officer will inform you about the administrative consequences of refusal. The Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles will then initiate an administrative license revocation process. This process involves suspending your driver’s license, regardless of whether you are ultimately convicted of OUI.

The details of a revocation

The length of the administrative license revocation for refusing a breath test varies based on previous OUI convictions, refusals and the presence of aggravating circumstances. Typically, a first refusal results in a one-year administrative revocation period. Subsequent refusals may lead to longer revocation periods.

If you refuse a breath test and your driver’s license undergoes administrative revocation, you have the right to request an administrative hearing within a specific timeframe. This hearing provides an opportunity to challenge the revocation and present your case. Carefully considering whether to challenge the administrative revocation and seeking legal advice are crucial for effectively navigating the process.

Alaska’s implied consent law requires you to submit to chemical tests if lawfully arrested for OUI. Refusing a breath test can result in administrative license revocation, independent of any criminal charges. Understanding these consequences can help you navigate the complex legal landscape surrounding OUI stops in Alaska.