Specially marked driver's licenses sought in Alaska

| 1/3/2007

An Alaska state lawmaker is expected to introduce a bill in the coming weeks that would allow for a special mark to be placed on the driver's licenses of residents who have been ordered by courts to stop drinking.

Sen. Hollis French, D-Anchorage, is touting the concept to have an identifying mark on state-issued identification. He said it is intended to alert bars and liquor stores when potential customers are under court order not to drink.

"It also presents a mechanism for the bar owner or the liquor store owner to recover a civil penalty from folks who try to buy. We've had good luck with that same mechanism in combating underage drinking," French told KTUU-TV in Anchorage.

Opponents say the idea goes too far because it's an invasion of people's privacy when it comes to using their driver's licenses as an official document for such things as boarding a plane or cashing a check.

The Alaska General Assembly opens its new session Jan. 16.