Press Releases

09/10/15 DPS PR #15-028

Recent Fire Related Fatalities

There has been a recent spike in fire fatalities within the state of Alaska. Although these fires are still under investigation and it is difficult to determine any commonalities, the Alaska State Fire Marshal’s Office wants to remind all citizens that all fires are preventable by practicing fire safe behavior. The following tips are a good starting point for fire safety.
 Making sure your home is equipped with working smoke alarms and testing those alarms at least monthly.
 When you are alerted there is a fire, GET OUT AND STAY OUT.
 Give special consideration to older adults and those with special needs: they may need specialized alerting devices and help with egress if there is an emergency.
 Have home heating equipment cleaned and inspected at least yearly by a trained professional. Keep heating equipment a safe distance from combustibles.
 Have installed and correctly working carbon monoxide detectors.
 And most importantly, be responsible and take you and your family’s safety seriously.
Residential fires are 100% preventable and we all have the same goal: prevent or reduce harm to the public from fire. This will never happen if we do not take this issue seriously. Fire Is Everyone’s Fight

PDF version of the release

09/10/15 DPS PR #15-027

Stats for Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign

(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over national campaign ended on Labor Day. The high visibility enforcement effort was designed to discourage impaired drivers from hitting the highways. For period 8/19/2015 thru 9/7/2015:
  - 51 misdemeanor DUI arrests, 4 felony DUI Arrests
  - 54 drivers charged with driving with a suspended or revoked license
  - 673 REDDIs reported with 78 drivers contacted and ultimately determined not to be DUI
  - 124 damage only crashes 23 injury crashes and 1 fatal collision were investigated by troopers

  - Of the 1359 citations issued, 809 were issued for speeding and 61 issued for seatbelt or other occupant restraint violations

Troopers implore motorists to always keep safety in mind. If you have consumed anything that could impair your ability to drive any motorized vehicle, please stay out of the driver’s seat. Please encourage all your friends and family to make the important decision to only drive when sober. If you suspect a driver is impaired, please report them to law enforcement immediately—Think REDDI! Report Every Dangerous Driver Immediately by dialing 9-1-1! The more information the public is able to give law enforcement about the vehicle description and direction of travel the better.

Remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Funding for the focused highway enforcement was provided in part by grant sources distributed through the Alaska Highway Safety Office.

PDF version of the release

09/02/15 DPS PR #15-026

Self-Reporting Hunting Offenses is the Ethical Thing to Do

(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – Hunting season is here again and every hunter has the responsibility to make sure that the game they take is legal. Some common examples of illegally taken game include taking a sub-legal moose or sheep or taking an animal in a closed area. Sometimes mistakes happen and the animal harvested is not legal. When this occurs, the hunter may be subject to criminal penalties. So, what should a hunter do if this happens?

Not only is reporting yourself to the Alaska Wildlife Troopers the ethical thing to do, you will be treated differently than if your actions were discovered through investigations by authorities. You will likely receive a citation for taking the animal illegally; however you will receive a substantially lower fine and other potential leniency compared to not self-reporting. In most situations, Alaska Wildlife Troopers will recommend that fines be consistent with self-reporting cases in other areas of the state and the illegal take be resolved as a violation instead of a criminal offense.

In the last two years, the average number of hunting cases statewide for Aug. 10 through Sept. 1 – considered the first 20 days of hunting season in most areas – has been 18 sheep and 24 moose kills. These numbers increase as the season progresses. They represent a variety of case types, however the prevalent cases are sub-legal antlers and horns as well as waste cases.
It will always be worse for the hunter if they leave the animal to waste. If hunters are caught and convicted of wasting a big game animal, the mandatory minimum fine is $2500 and seven days in jail. Additionally, hunters typically lose their equipment such as rifles, ATV, boats and airplanes used in commission of the crime.

Under hunting and trapping regulations in Alaska, there is no requirement that a person self-report their unlawful take of game. Ethical hunters will obligate themselves to take ownership of the mistake and self-report to authorities, but they may not know the best steps to proceed.

If you have taken game that is not legal follow these steps:

  1. Immediately validate your harvest ticket or permit for the appropriate species and if possible make a note of your intention to self-report.
  2. As soon as possible after taking illegal game, contact your local Alaska Wildlife Trooper office. Advise them of your situation and your location.
  3. After harvesting an animal, you must comply with salvage requirements for that species. The Alaska Wildlife Troopers will tell you where to take the animal.
  4. Keep the meat in the best condition possible. This may mean you will need to come out of the field to prevent spoilage.

After self-reporting your violation, you can expect an Alaska Wildlife Trooper will speak to you about your hunt.  Salvaged meat, hide, antlers, or horns will be seized. According to Alaska law, animals taken unlawfully are the property of the state. The meat is usually donated to a charitable organization but may be retained as evidence. Hides, horns, or antlers will be retained by Alaska Wildlife Troopers until instructed by the court.

Hunters who do not self-report their error risk being discovered by Alaska Wildlife Troopers in the future. Carefully consider your actions after you take an animal unlawfully in Alaska. Your next decision can determine the consequences of your actions.

Hunting regulations are found on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website at

PDF version of the release