Alaska has laws in place to keep motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists safe from drunk drivers. These laws are known as the DUI laws and can be very complex, especially if you’ve been charged with a DUI offense. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, it is very important that you contact an Alaska DUI lawyer immediately. If you wait too long to get legal assistance, you may forget information that is important to your case and lose any chance you have of winning. By contacting an Alaska DUI attorney immediately after your arrest, you can give your attorney all of the information necessary to begin building your defense.
Driving Under the Influence
Alaska has two ways in which someone can be prosecuted for DUI. One is if the person is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This means that the person is too impaired to operate their vehicle safely. Someone who is under the influence and too impaired to drive may exhibit odd driving behaviors such as driving too slowly, excessive braking, or swerving when it is not necessary to avoid an obstacle in the road. Someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol may also cause accidents due to their impairment. Impairment can be determined by the way they are driving or by their failure to successfully complete field sobriety tests. The other way a person can be prosecuted for DUI in Alaska is if their blood alcohol content level exceeds the limit of 0.08%. This level can be determined using chemical testing. Contacting an Alaska DUI lawyer as soon as you’ve been arrested for a DUI offense is imperative. These legal professionals know how to review each type of evidence and also have access to expert witnesses that may be able to reduce the impact of this evidence on your case.
Alaska DUI Penalties
Most DUI offenses in Alaska are classified as misdemeanors. The exceptions occur when someone has committed a third offense or greater or when a DUI results in bodily injury. The penalties for DUI in Alaska become more severe with each offense and can include fines, jail time, and community service. Some offenders can be sentenced to electric monitoring instead of jail time. Discussing all of these consequences with an Alaska DUI lawyer can help you to decide the best course of action to take and help you have the best chance for winning your case.
Administrative DUI Penalties
Criminal charges and penalties are not the only problems you will face if you are arrested for DUI. You will also have to deal with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the administrative penalties that they impose when someone is charged with a DUI. This suspension will take effect 7 days after your arrest so it is IMPERATIVE that you contact an Alaska DUI lawyer before that time period expires. A qualified Alaska DUI attorney can help you get a hearing with the DMV to request a temporary license that you can use until your case goes to trial. If your suspension was due to having a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or greater, a restricted license is only available after the first 30 days of your suspension has passed. This option is not available if you have refused chemical testing to determine your blood alcohol content level. The revocation period lengthens if a person has had prior DUI convictions. For one prior DUI conviction or refusal to submit to chemical testing, the penalty is a license revocation of 1 year. This penalty carries no opportunity for a restricted or temporary license for any reason. For two prior DUI convictions or refusals to submit to chemical testing, the license revocation time period is three years. This penalty gives offenders no opportunity for a restricted work permit. The penalty for three or more offenses is a license revocation period of five years. There is also no opportunity to apply for a restricted work permit during this period. Because of all of these possible penalties, consulting with an Alaska DUI lawyer is one of the best things you can do. Representing yourself may cause you to miss out on important deadlines and miss information that a legal professional would be able to use to strengthen your defense.
DMV License Revocation Hearing
If you are pulled over and charged with a DUI, you will receive a “Notice and Order of Revocation” from the law enforcement officer conducting the traffic stop. The day you are issued this order is the day that the clock starts ticking on the time you have to request a hearing on your revocation. You have 7 calendar days to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles and request a hearing in writing. If you do not meet this requirement, the license revocation will go into effect on the 8th day and you will have missed out on the opportunity to contest the revocation. You can deliver your written request directly to the Department of Motor Vehicles or send it to the DMV via the US Postal Service. If you choose to hand deliver the request, be sure to have someone in the DMV office sign something that shows the request was received. If you choose to use the mail, send the request certified so you can be sure the DMV received your request. In the event that the DMV claims they did not receive a request from you, having a signed certified mail receipt would prove that you did meet the requirement for requesting a hearing in the required time period. Be sure that your request is postmarked before the 7 day expiration date or your request may not arrive at the DMV on time.
Your license revocation hearing is very important to your DUI case. Even if you were not guilty of DUI and end up being not convicted or having the charges dropped, you will lose your license if you do not request a hearing within the 7 day period. Your lawyer may be able to successfully defend you against the revocation depending on what has happened with your case. This hearing also gives your attorney the opportunity to determine what information may come up at your criminal trial. Since the DMV hearing testimony is on the record, it can be very important to you at trial time. If you have been arrested for DUI, contact an Alaska DUI lawyer as soon as possible to help you save your license and defend you against criminal DUI charges.