Alaska Alcohol Related Laws and Regulations
Note: Since Alaska has a low population density, there are less strict laws for alcohol consumption where it is allowed than other states. However, Alaska does have places where alcohol can’t be consumed or purchased, known as ‘dry’ townships.
Where to Buy Alcohol
Spirits, beer, and wine can be purchased at retail liquor stores, while grocery and convenience stores only sell beer and wine. Alcohol is sold all week and restaurants and bars stop selling alcohol at 5 a.m.
Legal Age for Drinking/Serving Alcohol
Whether a person wants to consume, serve, or generally work around alcohol, they must be 21 years of age.
Open Container Laws
Although the driver of a vehicle cannot consume alcohol, the passengers can.
If a person tests (breath, blood, or urine) with a BAC (blood-alcohol content) of .08 or higher, they are considered ‘per se intoxicated’ and can be arrested and convicted of DUI (driving under the influence) without further evidence.
‘Zero tolerance laws’ attempt to deter underage drivers from drinking. If a driver under the legal age of 21 tests with any BAC level, they face DUI penalties.
If a driver does not comply with an officer’s request to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test to determine their level of intoxication when they are suspected of being under the influence, they can face penalties due to ‘implied consent laws.’ Their refusal can result in the mandatory suspension of their driver’s license for up to one year.
Minimum mandatory penalties are enforced for those convicted of DUI who have a BAC of .16 or higher over the legal maximum of .08 percent. This also relates to those who do not comply with an officer’s request to submit to testing to determine their level of intoxication.
When a driver is convicted of DUI, the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) can suspend a driver’s license for 90 days for the first offense, one year for the second, and three years for the third.
In Alaska, it is possible to confiscate a driver’s vehicle when they are convicted of DUI for the second time. They may also be required to attend alcohol education classes or have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.
After the third conviction, DUI is a felony.