Punishments for DUIs in Hawaii can be automatic. Upon an arrest an individual can automatically lose his or her driver’s license. Hawaii is known as one of the strictest states for DUI charges and convictions. First-time offenses can harbor harsh punishments. Hawaii laws states that prior convictions will elevate current convictions a majority of the time.
Driving under the influence laws are also called Operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant laws or OVUIIs. Under these terms the Administrative Driver’s License Revocation Office can suspend an individual’s driver’s license upon an OVUII charge. Individuals who are vacationing in Hawaii or are stationed in Hawaii for military reasons may lose their driver’s licenses if charged with OVUII while in the state.
The Interstate Driver’s License Compact allows Hawaii officials to suspend driver’s licenses from other states if Hawaii laws are broken. The charges will then be reported to the individual’s licensing state for subsequent suspension in that state.
Driving Under the Influence Convictions
Hawaii convictions come in two forms. The first is driving while impaired and the second is violating Hawaii driving under the influence laws by the means of driving with a 0.08 percent or higher blood alcohol content. These are called the per se laws and are prosecuted differently from DUI laws.
When an individual is prosecuted for impairment the court must prove that his or her judgment was in fact impaired by alcohol consumption. Proof can come from physical appearance, driving patterns, chemical test results, or field sobriety test results. The defense attorney will then try to create reasonable doubt in one or more of the tested areas.
Per se laws are prosecuted differently. Instead of attempting to prove that an individual’s judgment was impaired, the court will attempt to show that his or her blood alcohol limit exceeded the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Under these terms it doesn’t matter if an individual was impaired while driving. A blood chemistry test is all that is required for the defense.
Hawaii laws states that former DUI convictions will increase the punishments for current DUI charges. However the state does offer a time period where any previous convictions that are five years or older will not be used as priors. This is called the lookback period. A fourth DUI offense is considered a felony in Hawaii with imprisonment terms as high as five years.
Upon a first-time offense an individual will be convicted with fourteen hours of a substance abuse rehabilitation program and ninety days suspension of a driver’s license. Other punishments can include forty-eight hours of imprisonment, seventy-two hours of community service, and a fine as much as one thousand dollars.
DUI Laws for Minors
Those under the age of twenty-one are considered minors in Hawaii. Upon an arrest for driving under the influence a minor will be subject to driver’s license suspension for a minimum of one hundred eighty days, alcohol abuse and counseling programs for a minimum of ten hours, and up to thirty-six hours of community service. These charges can come with or without a fine between one hundred fifty dollars and five hundred dollars.