FAIRBANKS — Intoxicated people accused of crimes must sober up before they are released from jail under a new Alaska Department of Corrections policy that starts Monday.
Department spokeswoman Megan Edge said in an email that those booked at a department facility must register below .08 on a chemical breath test before being released from jail on bail or on their own recognizance.
Under the new policy, intoxicated people also can consent to being released to sober adults with valid state photo identifications.
Also, the state will not be able to hold an intoxicated person for longer than 24 hours, a change stemming from a crime bill signed into law in November.
“The intent of our internal policy is to enhance public safety and be in compliance with the law,” Edge wrote in an email.
The breath-test policy does not apply to people whose charges have been dismissed.
Legislators crafting the new law took into consideration a woman in Fairbanks who was released while still intoxicated and died after being hit by a car. They also discussed a man in Eagle River who received two DUIs in one day, according to a transcript of a legislative committee hearing.
A person in state custody will be asked to sign a form acknowledging the results of the chemical breath test under the new policy.
If an individual remains intoxicated and chooses to be released to an adult with a valid ID, the releasing officer can refuse if the person they are being released to is intoxicated or “otherwise unable to provide care to the offender,” according to the new policy.
Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7587. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.