Alaska DUI Alcohol Limits and Laws 2024

Drink and drive laws in Alaska

In Alaska, the legally allowed blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is capped at 0.08%, equivalent to 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.

Before we go into the details of impaired driving in Alaska, keep in mind that the goal of this post is solely informational. This article should not be interpreted as promoting and encouraging driving while intoxicated in any state or region.

What is the Legal Alcohol Limit for Driving in Alaska?

In Alaska, the legal alcohol limit for drivers varies based on the type of license and the driver’s age. It’s crucial to be aware of these limits to ensure safe and lawful driving. Here are the specific Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limits for different categories of drivers:

  1. Regular Drivers: The BAC limit is set at 0.08%. This applies to most private vehicle drivers.
  2. Commercial License Drivers: For those holding a commercial driver’s license, the BAC limit is lower, at 0.04%, reflecting the increased responsibility of operating commercial vehicles.
  3. Minors (Under 21 Years Old): Alaska adopts a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. Therefore, it is illegal for minors to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.

Understanding and adhering to these limits is essential for maintaining safety on the road and avoiding legal repercussions.

Drink and Drive Penalties and Punishments in Alaska

Driving under the influence (DUI) in Alaska is a serious offense with significant legal consequences. It’s important for drivers to understand the ramifications of a DUI arrest, both in terms of criminal prosecution and administrative actions regarding their driving privileges. The Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) plays a crucial role in enforcing these penalties. Here’s what you need to know:

Causes for Revocation or Disqualification

Your driving privileges will be revoked or disqualified in Alaska under the following circumstances:

  1. If your breath alcohol test result is 0.08% or greater.
  2. If you are operating a commercial vehicle and your breath alcohol test result is 0.04% or greater.
  3. If you refuse to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test to determine alcohol content or the presence of controlled substances.

Consequences Enforced by the DMV

The DMV will revoke your driving privileges for the minimum period mandated by law, as follows:

  • 90 days for a first offense.
  • 1 year if you have one prior conviction of DUI or refusal.
  • 3 years if you have two prior convictions of DUI or refusal.
  • 5 years if you have three or more prior convictions of DUI or refusal.

For commercial motor vehicle operators, the consequences are even more stringent. The DMV must disqualify your privilege to drive a commercial vehicle for a period ranging from 1 year to a lifetime ban, depending on the severity of the offense.

Administrative vs. Court Revocations

It’s important to note that administrative revocations by the DMV may occur concurrently with or consecutively to any revocation imposed by the court. This means that the total period of disqualification from driving could be extended.

Staying Informed

Given that laws and penalties can change, it’s crucial for drivers in Alaska to regularly check the official state website for the most current information regarding DUI laws and penalties. Staying informed is key to understanding your rights and responsibilities on the road.

Other Consequences

Aside from the previously mentioned penalties, you may also face the following punishment depending on the severity of your case.

How Can I Calculate if My Alcohol Blood Limit is Legal in Alaska

Police Method of Determining BAC in Alaska

In Alaska, the police use breathalyzers to measure the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of drivers suspected of being under the influence. This is a quick and non-invasive method, providing immediate results. If the breathalyzer shows a BAC of 0.08% or higher, it’s considered illegal for regular drivers. For commercial drivers, the limit is 0.04%, and for minors, any detectable amount is illegal.

Personal Methods to Check Your BAC Level

As an experienced phlebotomist with 10 years in the field, I recommend two ways to check your BAC level:

  1. Use a High-Quality Alcohol Breathalyzer: One of the most reliable devices available in Alaska is the BACtrack S80. It’s known for its professional-grade accuracy and is DOT & NHTSA approved, as well as FDA 510(k) cleared. I highly recommend keeping one in your car, especially since it’s common for people in Alaska to underestimate their BAC level, leading to impaired driving.
  2. Utilize My BAC Calculator: Alongside other phlebotomists and with the help of web developers, I’ve created an online BAC calculator. This tool can help you estimate your BAC based on factors like the amount of alcohol consumed, your weight, and the time elapsed since drinking.

Important Considerations

While both the breathalyzer and the online BAC calculator are useful tools, it’s crucial to remember that they cannot provide 100% accurate results. They should be used as guides to help you make responsible decisions. If either method indicates that you are near or over the 0.08% limit, it’s safest to avoid driving. These tools are designed to provide an idea of your BAC level and potentially prevent drunk driving.

Ways to Avoid Driving with a High BAC in Alaska

Drink beer and drive in Alaska

Driving with a high Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is not only illegal but also extremely dangerous. In Alaska, where conditions can be challenging, it’s especially important to plan ahead to ensure you’re not behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. Here are some practical ways to avoid driving under the influence:

1. Use Taxi or Ride-Sharing Apps

One of the easiest and most convenient ways to avoid driving after drinking is to use taxi services or ride-sharing apps. This can include:

  • Popular Apps: Utilize well-known apps like Uber or Lyft. They are widely used and provide a convenient way to get a ride with just a few taps on your smartphone.
  • Local Taxi Companies: In Anchorage, consider using City Taxi for reliable service. In Juneau, DLUX RIDES LLC offers a trusted option for getting around safely.

2. Designated Driver Services

If you have driven to a location and find yourself unable to drive back due to alcohol consumption, a designated driver service is a great solution. This way, you and your car can get home safely. Examples include:

  • In Anchorage: MyChauffeurDrive offers a service where a professional driver can take you home in your own car.
  • In Juneau: Juneau Limousine Services, LLC provides similar services, ensuring both you and your vehicle arrive home without incident.

To find a designated driver service in your specific area, a quick Google search such as “designated driver service in [Your City]” will provide local options.

Final Thoughts

Remember, planning ahead is key. If you anticipate drinking, arrange your transportation in advance. By using these services, you not only keep yourself safe but also contribute to the safety of others on the road in Alaska.

Sticking to Impaired Driving Laws in Alaska: Sad Statistics

Impaired driving, involving alcohol use, is a significant risk on the roads. In 2020, Alaska experienced 64 traffic fatalities, with 22% attributed to drunk driving and drivers having a BAC of 0.08% or higher. It’s vital for everyone to be aware of the dangers of drunk driving and understand that it endangers all road users.

If you’ve been drinking, consider alternatives like taking a taxi, using Uber, or calling a friend for a ride. Always ensure your BAC is below the legal limit if you must drive, but the safest course is to avoid driving altogether. Alcohol affects individuals differently, and only a breathalyzer can accurately measure your BAC.

Staying informed about Alaska’s impaired driving laws is crucial. Regularly visit the state’s official website for the latest rules and regulations.

About the author

Ashley Cresswell

Ashley Cresswell is a former phlebotomist with a passion for road safety. During her time as a phlebotomist, Ashley administered over 1000 blood alcohol tests to impaired drivers and was shocked to discover that many of them were simply uninformed about the legal limits for driving under the influence. As a result, Ashley conducted extensive research on scientific studies and local laws to bring drivers a comprehensive resource on drink and drive limits from around the world.