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
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