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DUI & DWI in Hawaii

Arrested for a DUI or DWI?

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The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit―which in the state of Hawaii is 0.08% (0.02% for under 21 years old) - will get you arrested for DUI. Even if you test below that level, you could be considered to be under the influence and arrested. You can also face a suspension of your driver's license by the Department of Transportation and the Administrative Driver's License Revocation Office whether you are convicted of a DUI or not.

You can opt to forgo the roadside breath test, but that opens up an entirely other realm of punishments under the legal framework. In fact, just as if you were being arrested for DUI, if you refuse a BAC test you will end up turning over your license to the police officer at the scene and read your Miranda rights.

The Arrest

  • If you fail the roadside sobriety test, which could entail anything from standing on one leg while answering a barrage of questions to touching your nose and walking a straight line, you will be read your rights.
  • You will be taken to jail.
  • A tow truck will take your car and impound it.
  • A Breathalyzer test will be offered under the implied consent laws, and if you refuse it, you can say good-bye to your license at that point; it will be confiscated. See Administrative Penalties below.

Administrative Penalties

If you have an BAC of 0.08% (0.02% under 21 years old) OR if you refuse a chemical test. you will lose your license. Refusing a chemical test is a violation of Implied Consent laws, which you agree to when accepting a state issued license. This means, that if you refuse to take or fail a chemical test, the Department of Transportation, and the Administrative Driver's License Revocation Office (ADLRO), will automatically suspend your license.:

  • 1st offense: 1 years.
  • 2nd offense within 5 years: 18 months.
  • 3rd offense within 5 years: 2 years.
  • 4th and subsequent offenses within 10 years: 5 to 10 years.

If you are under 18 years old the penalty is having your driver's license suspended until you turn 18 years old. If you have remaining suspension time after you turn 18 years old you will be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for the remain time period.

Additionally you will be required to have an alcohol assessment by your local Division of Driver Education.

Other Administrative penalties, regardless of age at the time of the offense, can include:

  • Revocation of registration.
  • Refusal of a restricted license.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) (See below for more details on IIDs).

The only way you can fight an automatic suspensions is to request an Administrative hearing.

Administrative Hearing

In order to request an hearing you must contact the Administrative Driver's License Revocation Office (ADLRO). You will be required to submit $30 and a Request for Administrative Hearing (Form 102). Hearings are not required for an Employee Driver's Permit or an Ignition Interlock Permit.

This form needs to be filed in a timely manner. If you request a hearing and then need to reschedule you can fill out a Request for Continuance / Notice of Continued Administrative Hearing (Form 41). Once you file the form you must contact the Administrative Driver's License Revocation Office to verify you were given a continuance. You can contact them by calling (808) 534-6800 or toll free at (866) 826-5656.

DUI Criminal Penalties

1st Offense

  • Fine: Between $150 and $1,000.
  • Defendant is required to enroll in an alcohol or drug abuse program that is about 14 hours long.
  • Jail time: Generally, a 1st offense will not carry any jail time past the initial arrest, but it is possible to remain incarcerated for 48 hours to 5 days.
  • License revocation: 1 year.
    • The court will consider limited driving privileges for those who are employed and have no other means of transportation.
  • Other sentencing options include up to 72 hours of community service.

2nd Offense

Within 5 years of a prior conviction:

  • Fine: Between $500 and $1,500.
  • Jail time: 5 to 30 days in jail or 240 hours of community service.
  • License revocation: up to 2 years.

3rd Offense

Within 5 years of the two prior convictions:

  • Fine: Between $500 and $2,500.
  • Jail time: 10 to 30 days.
  • License revocation: License will be revoked for 2 years.
Along with the above penalties and fines, each charge of DUI will also include"
  • $25 surcharge for the neurotrauma special fund.
  • $25 surcharge for the trauma system special fund.
  • SR-22 proof of financial responsibility.
We hope you never need one, but a DUI attorney can help you understand these penalties as well as what you can expect in court.

Ignition Interlock Device

You may be able to apply for a restricted license during your suspension with the ADLRO. In order to apply you must fill out an Application for Ignition Interlock Permit (Form ADLRO IIP). You must include a copy of your IID lease agreement and proof of insurance. Mail the application to the address on the form. If you are granted a Ignition Interlock Permit during your suspension, you will be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in your vehicle. An IID comes with an average cost of:
  • $150 installation fee.
  • $80 per month monitoring fee.

Indigent offenders may qualify for a reduced cost IID. You must maintain an IID and insurance on your vehicle at all times in order to drive while your license is suspended.

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