If you live in The Last Frontier or plan to visit sometime soon, it’s worth knowing the state’s drug and alcohol laws. What are the consequences of drinking and driving? Is cannabis legal? And what kind of penalties exist for breaking the law? Read on for information about substance abuse laws in Alaska.

DUI Laws in Alaska

In 2008, 27 out of 62 (44%) traffic fatalities in Alaska were alcohol-related. Between 2003 and 2012, 222 people died in Alaska due to drinking-related car accidents.

In the United States, it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%. At this level, a driver may appear to be sober. But their reflexes are slower and their depth perception is affected.

Driving under the influence (DUI) laws apply to drugs as well.These include marijuana, prescription medicines and inhalants. These substances can impair drivers and create unsafe roads. DUI laws also extend to other types of vehicles such as ATVs, boats or planes.

Zero Tolerance Laws for Alaska

There is a zero tolerance policy towards underage drinking and driving in Alaska. People under the age of 21 are not permitted to drive with any alcohol in their system.

Is Cannabis Legal in Alaska?

For adults over 21, cannabis is legal for both medical purposes and recreation. Restrictions include the following:

  • You can have up to one ounce of cannabis on your person.
  • You can give another adult up to one ounce of marijuana.
  • An individual can grow and give away up to six plants. Only three plants can be mature and flowering at a time.
  • You cannot smoke or ingest cannabis in public. You can only do so in a designated marijuana retail store.
  • In Anchorage, cannabis should be sealed and placed in the trunk of your car or behind the last seat.
  • Federal law prohibits the transport of marijuana through federally regulated spaces. These include airspace, waterways and the postal service.
  • You can have up to four ounces on your property.

Be sure to check your employer’s policy towards cannabis use. And check local city laws for restrictions on commercial marijuana.

Other Substance-Related Crimes in Alaska

  • It is illegal to possess or use illicit drugs.
  • It is also illegal to make, sell or distribute these substances.

The severity of penalties depends on how dangerous a drug is and how much a person has. There are strict penalties for selling to minors. The same goes for selling drugs including cannabis near schools or recreational centers.

Penalties for Alcohol or Drug Abuse in Alaska

DUI Penalties in Alaska

First-time offenders face the following:

  • 72 hours jail time
  • A $1,500 fine
  • Cost of imprisonment charges
  • A three-month license suspension
  • Use of an ignition interlock device (IID) for six months
  • A drug and alcohol assessment which may lead to treatment
  • Refusal to submit to a chemical test results in harsh penalties.

A third offense is a felony depending on when prior offenses occurred. Felonies involve bigger fines, longer jail time and license suspensions. Vehicle confiscation is possible.

Zero Tolerance Penalties in Alaska

Young people under 21 who drink and drive receive the following penalties:

  • One-month license suspension for first-time offenders
  • 60 days for the second offense
  • 90 days for the third and up to a year for any further charges

Cannabis Penalties in Alaska

  • Public consumption results in a $100 fine but no criminal charge.
  • Possession of over one and up to four ounces outside of your home is a misdemeanor. It can mean up to a year of jail time and/or a $10,000 fine.
  • Possession of over four ounces is a felony with up to five years jail time and/or $50,000 in fines.
  • The unlicensed sale of under an ounce of marijuana can result in 1 year of jail time and/or a $10,000 fine.
  • Selling or delivering one ounce or more is a felony with up to five years jail time and/or $50,000 in fines.
  • Selling to a person under 19 who is 3 years or more younger than the seller equals 10 years in prison and/or $100,000.
  • Cultivating 25 plants or more is also a felony.

While we strive to provide updated information, the legal environment is dynamic. Consult with a local lawyer before making decisions that could lead to drug or alcohol charges.

Get Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Alaska

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there is hope. We highly recommend seeking treatment. Health professionals can assist you to get back on your feet. Treatment begins with a safe and supervised detox. Treatment also includes therapy which is essential for understanding and avoiding triggers.

Contact a rehab program near you to discuss the best options to suit your needs. It’s the first step towards a more healthy and happy life.

Sources

  1. Zero Tolerance – Underage Drinking, Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of Administration, State of Alaska. (2017)
  2. About D.U.I. (2019)
  3. What You Need to Know about Using Marijuana in Alaska (2018)

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