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Chemical Testing in Alaska for DUI

In Alaska, chemical testing of a suspect’s breath, urine and/or blood may be conducted to determine the presence of alcohol and/or drugs when a suspect is arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. The police have the discretion of which test to administer. Due to Alaska’s implied consent law, you may not refuse a police officer’s request for a chemical test and a refusal is considered a misdemeanor offense.

There are two types of breath tests conducted in Alaska: the preliminary breath test (PBT) and the evidentiary breath test. The PBT is administered on the scene prior to your DUI arrest. A PBT is a handheld device that measures your BAC. If you refuse a PBT, this is an infraction and such refusal will be admissible in any criminal court proceeding against you. Evidentiary breath tests are conducted at the police station after you have been arrested.

Blood and urine testing are appropriate when the police believe that you are under the influence of a controlled substance, and in DUI cases that involve serious bodily harm or death to another person. Blood samples must be drawn by qualified medical personnel. The Department of Public Safety has produced specific rules and methods for blood testing that must be followed in order for the blood test to be deemed valid.

Lastly, Alaska law provides that you have the right to conduct independent chemical testing. You may have a physician or other qualified person of your choosing administer a breath or blood test in addition to the testing conducted by the police. The police must inform you of your right to an independent test and take reasonable efforts to assist you in obtaining one.

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