The use of drugs (except marijuana) is against the law and results in severe penalties, especially for cocaine, which is heavily abused in Alaska.

The minimum drinking age in Alaska is 21 and a government-issued photo ID (passport or driver’s license) will be needed if a bartender questions your age. Alcohol abuse is also a problem in Alaska, and it’s a serious offense if you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The blood alcohol limit in Alaska is 0.08% and the penalty for DUI is a three-month driver’s license revocation. You may also be given a fine and jail time.

If you are stopped by the police for any reason while driving, remember there is no system of paying on-the-spot fines and bribery is not something that works in Alaska. For traffic violations, the officer will explain your options to you and many violations can often be handled through the mail with a credit card.


Alaska became the third US state to legalize recreational marijuana in February 2015 after a state ballot. Pot shops have been springing up in larger towns and cities since 2016, but this isn't Amsterdam quite yet. Wise up on the law before you arrive and use discretion at all times when imbibing.

The basic rules regarding marijuana are as follows:

  • You must be 21 or over.
  • Qualifying adults can possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal consumption.
  • You must buy it from a licensed facility.
  • You can't smoke in public areas or on federal land (eg national parks and forests).
  • It is illegal to drive while impaired.
  • You can't take marijuana out of the state.