Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious criminal offense. Each state has its own driving under the influence (DUI) laws (also called driving while intoxicated (DWI) in some states) that define and punish DUI offenses in slightly different ways. This article provides a brief overview of Hawaii's DUI laws.
|Hawaii Revised Statutes section 291E-61: Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant
|Operating or assuming actual physical control of a vehicle:
- While under the influence of enough alcohol to impair the person's normal mental faculties or ability to care for the person and guard against casualty
- While under the influence of any drug that impairs the person's ability to operate the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner, or
- With a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more
A violator who had a BAC of 0.08% or more can be punished in the following ways:
First offense (or the only offense within five years):
- 14 hour minimum substance abuse rehabilitation program
- One year revocation of the offenders driver's license, and during this period an ignition interlock device will be installed
- 72 hours of community service work
- Imprisonment for at least 48 hours and not more than five days, and/or
- A fine of between $150 and $1,000
An offense that occurs within five years of a prior conviction:
- Revocation of the offender's driver's license for between 18 months and two years, and during this period an ignition interlock device will be installed
- At least 240 hours of community service work, or imprisonment for at least five days and not more than 30 days, and/or
- A fine of between $500 and $1,500
An offense that occurs within five years of two prior convictions:
- A fine of between $500 and $2,500
- Revocation of the offenders driver's license for two years, and during this period an ignition interlock device will be installed, and/or
- Imprisonment for at least ten days and not more than 30 days
In some cases, aggravating circumstances will result in higher penalties for the offender. For example, if the DUI offense is committed with a passenger in the vehicle who was less than 15 years old then the offender will be sentenced to an additional mandatory fine of $500, and an additional 48 hours in jail. Additionally, the offender's license will be revoked for at least two years.
DUI Offenders Who are Under 21
In Hawaii, it is illegal for anyone who is under the age of 21 to operate a vehicle with a measurable amount of alcohol in their body. A first violation (or any violation within a five year period) may be punished by:
- The offender's parent or guardian being required to attend an alcohol abuse education and counseling program, if the offender is less than 18 years old
- The driver's license will be suspended for 108 days
- Up to 36 hours of community service work, and/or
- A fine of between $150 and $500.
State laws change frequently. For case specific information about Hawaii's DUI laws contact a local DUI attorney.