The Alaska Supreme Courtroom has upheld the legality of a state regulation that enables younger Alaskans to face trial as adults for misdemeanor drunken-driving crimes.
In a ruling published Friday, the five-member court docket cut up 3-2 in favor of the regulation, with the bulk saying it doesn’t violate the equal-protection clauses of the Alaska Structure.
However justices Craig Stowers and Susan Carney dissented, saying that the present regulation requires extra critical felony DUIs to remain in juvenile court docket. That creates a scenario the place a lesser crime might lead to better punishment. (Stowers retired last year however heard the case earlier than leaving the bench.)
Justices Joel Bolger, Peter Maassen and Daniel Winfree voted for almost all, saying that the regulation represents a tempered “coverage of deterrence.”
The regulation had been challenged by a Bethel girl who was convicted in district court docket of two misdemeanor DUI offenses that occurred in 2011, when she was 14.
The girl was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to quite a lot of penalties, together with 28 days in jail, with 25 suspended. With a court-appointed protection legal professional, she escalated the case to the Courtroom of Appeals, then to the state Supreme Courtroom, which heard arguments in August 2018.