(a) An intoxicated person who (1) has threatened, attempted to inflict, or inflicted physical harm on another or is likely to inflict physical harm on another unless committed, or (2) is incapacitated by alcohol or drugs, may be committed to an approved public treatment facility for emergency treatment. A refusal to undergo treatment does not constitute evidence of lack of judgment as to the need for treatment.

Terms Used In Alaska Statutes 47.37.180 - Emergency commitment

  • person: includes a corporation, company, partnership, firm, association, organization, business trust, or society, as well as a natural person. See Alaska Statutes 01.10.060
  • state: means the State of Alaska unless applied to the different parts of the United States and in the latter case it includes the District of Columbia and the territories. See Alaska Statutes 01.10.060

(b) The certifying physician, physician assistant, advanced practice registered nurse, spouse, guardian, or relative of the person to be committed, or any other responsible person, may make a written application for commitment under this section, directed to the administrator of the approved public treatment facility. The application must state facts to support the need for emergency treatment and be accompanied by a physician’s, physician assistant’s, or advanced practice registered nurse’s certificate supporting the need for emergency treatment and stating that the physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse has examined the person sought to be committed within two days before the certificate’s date.

(c) Upon approval of the application by the administrator in charge of the facility, the person may be brought to the facility by a peace officer, a health officer, a member of the emergency service patrol, the applicant for commitment, the patient’s spouse, the patient’s guardian, or any other interested person. The person shall be retained at the facility to which the person was admitted, or transferred to another appropriate public or private treatment facility, until discharged under (e) of this section. However, a person may not be detained under this section for more than 48 hours unless a district or superior court judge has reviewed and approved the commitment application.

(d) The administrator in charge of an approved public treatment facility may refuse an application if in the administrator’s opinion the application and certificate fail to sustain the grounds for commitment.

(e) When on the advice of the medical staff the administrator determines that the grounds for commitment no longer exist, the administrator shall discharge a person committed under this section. A person committed under this section may not be detained in a treatment facility for more than five days. If a petition for involuntary commitment under AS 47.37.190 has been filed within the five days and the administrator in charge of an approved public treatment facility finds that grounds for emergency commitment still exist, the administrator may detain the person until the petition has been heard and determined, but no longer than 10 days after filing the petition.

(f) A copy of the written application for commitment and of the physician’s, physician assistant’s, or advanced practice registered nurse’s certificate, and a written explanation of the person’s right to legal counsel, shall be given to the person within 24 hours after commitment by the administrator, who shall provide a reasonable opportunity for the person to consult with legal counsel.

(g) The administrator of an approved public treatment facility may accept an application for commitment under this section from a health facility and may authorize the health facility to hold the person who is the subject of the commitment petition at the health facility as long as medically necessary, before transferring the person to the approved public treatment facility. An administrator who accepts an application for commitment from a health facility shall comply with the provisions of (c) – (f) of this section if the person being committed is held for longer than 48 hours from the time the administrator accepts the application for commitment under this subsection. A person committed under this subsection shall be transported from the health facility to the approved public treatment facility as soon as the person is discharged from the health facility. If the person being committed under this subsection is physically present at the health facility at the time an application for extension of detention is filed under (c) of this section or is physically present at the health facility when a petition for involuntary commitment is filed under (e) of this section, the administrator accepting the application for commitment under this subsection shall inform the court of where the person being committed is being held and when the person being committed is expected to be capable of being transferred to the approved public treatment facility.