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  • Alaska Treatment Facility Breakdown by Type:
  • (68) Mental Balance Treatment Services
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  • (26) Court Appointed Client Services
  • (16) AIDS/HIV Clients
  • (23) Lesbian and Gay
  • (12) Alcohol Detox
  • (6) Residential Short-Term Treatment for Alcoholism
  • (20) Over 50
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  • (7) Inpatient Hospital Treatment
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  • (6) Health Services
  • (8) Foreign Languages other than Spanish
  • (3) Residential Beds for Adolescents
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Alcohol addiction has become an extremely serious issue in Alaska; the increasing number of individuals suffering with an alcoholism problem is creating the need for easier access to quality alcohol rehab programs. The solution for an individual in Alaska that has an alcoholism problem is to seek professional alcohol rehabilitation at the first hint of an alcohol addiction. There are many different types of alcohol treatment facilities that are located in and around Alaska, including long term, short term, inpatient and outpatient, just to name a select few.

The first step in an Alaska alcohol rehab center is alcohol detoxification. During the alcohol detox period, an individual from Alaska may begin to experience uncomfortable alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and the goal of a quality alcohol treatment center is to minimize this discomfort. It is only after a person has successfully completed alcohol detox, that they can be fully present for the remainder of the alcohol rehabilitation process. The Alaska alcohol rehab program should include individual counseling and group sessions. Finally one of the most important goals of an Alaska alcohol rehab is to help the individual to avoid a relapse, by incorporating relapse prevention education into their alcohol rehabilitation program.

The goal of alcohol rehab is significant; to be able to help the person from Alaska that is in rehabilitation for an alcohol addiction to receive the help that they need in order to be able to maintain long term sobriety. It is also the long term goal of an Alaska alcohol rehab program to be able to help the individual successfully complete all phases of the alcohol rehabilitation in order to have a happy and healthy lifestyle in regards to their family, workplace and community.


Alaska alcohol related information and statistics are provided by the US Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Conference of State Legislatures, 2004. In Alaska, the percentage of alcohol related deaths and the actual number of alcohol related deaths peaked in 1984. Since then, the drunk driving deaths have shown a downward trend, with the lowest number of deaths in 1998, in both total number and alcohol related fatalities. In 2006, out of all traffic fatalities, 27% involved a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, which is the lowest on record.

The table below shows the total number of traffic fatalities (Tot) for Alaska, alcohol related fatalities (Alc-Rel) and fatalities in crashes where the highest BAC in the crash was 0.08 or above (0.08+). It is important to note that the drunk driving statistics for Alaska, as shown below, include data from individuals in Alaska who were in an alcohol-related crash, but not driving a motor vehicle at the time. The U.S. Department of Transportation defines alcohol-related deaths as "fatalities that occur in crashes where at least one driver or non-occupant (pedestrian or pedalcyclist) involved in the crash has a positive Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) value."

All 50 states in the US now apply two statutory offenses to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The first (and original) offense is known either as driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated/impaired (DWI), or operating while intoxicated/impaired (OWI). This is based upon an Alaska police officer's observations (driving behavior, slurred speech, the results of a roadside sobriety test, etc.) The second offense is called "illegal per se", which is driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Since 2002 it has been illegal in all 50 states to drive with a BAC that is 0.08% or higher.

Year

Fatalities

Tot

Alc-Rel

%

0.08+

%

1982

105

64

61

62

59

1983

150

88

59

80

53

1984

134

88

66

77

57

1985

127

78

61

74

58

1986

101

57

56

50

49

1987

76

44

58

38

49

1988

97

57

59

51

53

1989

84

48

58

42

50

1990

98

51

52

45

46

1991

101

49

48

45

45

1992

108

67

62

54

50

1993

118

54

46

52

44

1994

85

51

60

44

51

1995

87

47

54

39

44

1996

81

43

53

39

48

1997

77

41

53

31

41

1998

70

31

44

28

40

1999

79

40

51

36

46

2000

106

56

53

52

49

2001

89

47

53

44

49

2002

89

37

41

35

39

2003

95

35

37

31

33

2004

101

31

31

30

30

2005

72

35

48

31

43

2006

73

23

31

20

27



2003-2004 Alaska Alcohol Related Issue: Percentage % Ranking

Alcohol Abuse or Dependence

7.47%

[32nd of 51]

Alcohol consumption > Binge drinkers

16.3%

[17th of 52]

Alcohol consumption > Casual drinkers

57.8%

[23rd of 52]

Alcohol consumption > Heavy drinkers

5.1%

[21st of 52]

Alcohol related traffic fatalities

31

[50th of 51]

Alcohol related traffic fatalities (per capita)

0.467 per 10,000 people

[37th of 51]

Alcohol related traffic fatalities, as a percentage

31%

[49th of 51]

Alcohol Use in the Past Month

49.36%

[32nd of 51]

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2003-2004, Office of Applied Studies 2003-2004 and the MADD Official Website statistics 2004

When is a driver considered to be legally drunk in Alaska?

  • Non-commercial drivers age 21+ in Alaska are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 or more.
  • Drivers of commercial vehicles in Alaska are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .04 percent or greater.
  • Drivers under 21 in Alaska are legally drunk when a chemical test reveals any alcohol concentration in their blood or breath.

Penalties for Drunk Driving in Alaska

  • First-time offenders in Alaska face at least 72 hours in prison and a fine of at least $1,500. The driver's license revocation period is at least 90 days.
  • A person who commits a second DWI within 15 years of the first conviction in Alaska faces at least 20 days in prison and a fine of at least $3,000. The driver's license revocation period is at least one year.
  • A person who commits a third DWI within 15 years of the previous convictions in Alaska faces at least 60 days in prison and a fine of at least $4,000. The driver's license revocation period is at least three years. If, however, the offender committed the third offense within 10 years of the previous convictions, the minimum prison sentence is 120 days, and the minimum fine is $10,000. In that case, driving privileges are permanently revoked. After 10 years, the offender can request that his or her license be restored, provided that the offender has not been convicted of a crime since revocation and that he or she can provide proof of insurance.
  • A person in Alaska who commits a fourth DWI within 15 years of the previous convictions faces at least 120 days in prison and a fine of at least $5,000. The driver's license revocation period is at least five years. If, however, the offender committed the fourth offense within 10 years of two previous convictions, the minimum prison sentence is 240 days, and the minimum fine is $10,000. In that case, driving privileges are permanently revoked. After 10 years, the offender can request that his or her license be restored, provided that the offender has not been convicted of a crime since revocation and that he or she can provide proof of insurance.
  • A person in Alaska who commits a fifth DWI within 15 years of the previous convictions faces at least 240 days in prison and a fine of at least $6,000. The driver's license revocation period is at least five years. If, however, the offender committed the fifth offense within 10 years of two previous convictions, the minimum prison sentence is 360 days, and the minimum fine is $10,000. Driving privileges are permanently revoked. After 10 years, the offender can request that his or her license be restored, provided that the offender has not been convicted of a crime since revocation and that he or she can provide proof of insurance.
  • A person in Alaska who commits a DWI who has been convicted of drunk driving five or more times within a 15-year period faces at least 360 days in prison and a fine of at least $7,000. The driver's license revocation period is at least five years. If, however, the offender committed the offense within 10 years of two previous convictions, the minimum fine is $10,000. Driving privileges are permanently revoked. After 10 years, the offender can request that his or her license be restored, provided that the offender has not been convicted of a crime since revocation and that he or she can provide proof of insurance.

Commercial Drivers

In addition to other penalties that may be imposed under Alaska's DWI laws, a commercial driver who commits a first DWI while driving any vehicle will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for at least one year. If, however, the offense was committed while the driver was operating a commercial vehicle and transporting hazardous materials, the disqualification period is at least three years. If a commercial driver in Alaska is convicted of a second DWI while driving any vehicle, the offender will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for life, which may or may not be reduced to 10 years.

In addition, under Alaska law, those convicted of operating a commercial vehicle while under the influence are sentenced as though they had been previously convicted of the offense. Thus, for example, if a commercial driver is a first-time DWI offender, the driver faces the penalties normally imposed on second-time offenders.

Drivers Under 21

Drivers under 21 in Alaska commit the offense of "minor operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol" if a chemical test reveals any alcohol concentration in the minor's blood or breath. A minor cited under this law is prohibited from operating a vehicle, aircraft, or boat for 24 hours after the citation is issued.

If convicted, first-time offenders in Alaska must pay a $500 fine and serve 20 to 40 hours of community work service related to education about the prevention or treatment of alcohol abuse or perform such other work service as the judge orders. Second-time offenders must pay a $1,000 fine and serve 40 to 60 hours of community work service related to education about the prevention or treatment of alcohol misuse or perform such other work service as the judge orders. Those in Alaska who violate this law three or more times, must pay a $1,500 fine and perform 50 to 80 hours of community work service related to education about the prevention or treatment of alcohol misuse or perform such other work service as the judge orders.

Ignition Interlock

  • The sentencing judge may order any person convicted of DWI in Alaska to use an ignition interlock device after driving privileges are restored.
  • A person in Alaska convicted of drunk driving who had a blood alcohol concentration of .16 but less than .24 must use an ignition interlock device for at least six months after regaining driving privileges.
  • A person in Alaska convicted of drunk driving who had a blood alcohol concentration of .24 or more must use an ignition interlock device for a minimum of one year after regaining driving privileges.

What is Alaska's Dram Shop Statute?

Under this statute, an Alaska establishment licensed to sell alcohol may be civilly liable for injuries caused by intoxication if it (1) served a visibly drunk person; or (2) knowingly served someone who is underage.

When Can a Person Not Licensed to Sell Alcohol in Alaska be Civilly Liable for Injuries Caused by Intoxication?

Under Alaska law, anyone who knowingly serves alcohol to a person under 21 will be held civilly liable for injuries the minor causes to himself or to another person, so long as the minor's intoxication substantially contributed to the injury.

Criminal Penalties in Alaska for Selling or Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor

In Alaska, it is a crime for any person to sell or otherwise furnish alcohol to a person under 21. Violators of this law faces up to one year in prison and are subject to pay a fine of up to $10,000. If, however, the minor who received the alcohol causes serious injury to or the death of another person while under the influence of alcohol, the person who sold or furnished the alcohol faces up to five years in prison and is subject to pay a fine of up to $50,000. A person who has a previous conviction of selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor and commits another offense within five years of the first conviction in Alaska also faces up to five years in prison and is subject to pay a fine of up to $50,000.

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  • Symptoms of alcohol dependence include but are not limited to memory lapses after heavy drinking, requiring greater amounts of alcohol to feel "drunk", experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms when you haven't had a drink for a while and experiencing alcohol-related illnesses such as alcoholic liver disease.
  • Alcohol leaves the body of virtually everyone at a constant rate of about .015 percent of blood alcohol content (BAC) per hour; thus a person with a BAC of .015 would be totally sober in a hour while a person with a BAC of ten times that (.15) would require 10 hours to become completely sober.
  • In 2008 the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 28% of youth aged 12 to 20 years drink alcohol and 19% reported binge drinking.
  • Children of parents who are addicted to alcohol are at high risk for elevated rates of psychiatric and psychosocial dysfunction, as well as for alcoholism

For more information, visit www.drug-rehabs.org.