Few things can change the tone of a relaxing evening faster than the lights of a police car in the rearview mirror. If police believe you are impaired by alcohol, your life could take a very unexpected turn. Facing drunk driving charges means facing the potential for harsh sentences and long-term consequences.
However, you do have rights no matter how much evidence police seem to have against you. It is important that you are aware of those rights and that you know where to turn when your future is on the line.
What can you expect?
Like most other states. Alaska’s drunk driving laws begin with a blood alcohol concentration limit. If your BAC is .08 or higher, according to a breath or blood test, police have all the evidence they need to proceed with a DUI arrest. Alaska also follows many other states that have implied consent laws, which means you consent to BAC testing as a condition of receiving your driver’s license. If you refuse to comply, the state has the right to revoke your license.
If a court convicts you of drunk driving, you may face some harsh penalties, including the following:
- You will undergo mandatory alcohol assessment to determine the level of problem with alcohol you may have.
- The court may order alcohol abuse treatment or an alcohol education program, depending on the results of your assessment.
- You will likely spend time in jail even if this is your first conviction.
- Some insurers will hike the rates of those convicted of DUI, sometimes as much as three or four times your regular rate.
- Alaska requires those convicted of DUI to install an ignition interlock in their cars beginning with a first offense.
Of course, if this is not your first offense, you can expect the legal and administrative penalties to be even more severe after a conviction. For example, the few days you may spend in jail for a first offense can quickly jump to 20 or 60 days for subsequent convictions. Fines, already as high as $1,500 for a first conviction, will more than double for a third offense.
When you are under arrest for drunk driving, your future is uncertain. How will a conviction affect your job? Will you lose your professional certification? Will your educational opportunities suffer?
Even if police say your BAC was .08, there are numerous defense strategies that may be appropriate for your situation. Finding skilled and aggressive legal assistance can help you determine which path to take.