Hawaii DUI and DWI infractions are enclosed under one term: OVUII, which stands for operating a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants. DUI laws determine the consequences you will face for committing OVUII offenses while driving on public roads. Penalties for driving under the influence include driver’s license suspension or revocation and possible jail time.

In addition, drivers who are charged with a DUI may be required to enroll in an alcohol and drug treatment program. When facing these charges, you are also encouraged to hire a DUI defense attorney to minimize your penalties. Continue reading the sections below in order to find out more about DUIs, or OVUIIs, in Hawaii.

DUI Citations and Convictions in Hawaii

A DUI ticket in Hawaii is issued to drivers who are pulled over by a law enforcement official and fail a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. Remember, severe DUI penalties will be added to your driving record for both failing and refusing to take the BAC test.

A DUI violation may be considered a felony or misdemeanor because it is a criminal offense that endangers public safety and may cause death or injury to other motorists and pedestrians.

Hawaii DUI Violations and Penalties

Driving under the influence in Hawaii may bring you severe penalties, depending on your age, BAC level and on the number of previous DUI offenses you have committed. Penalties may also depend on whether or not you have refused to submit to a BAC test.

Find out the consequences you will face for an OVUII in Hawaii by reading the following sections.

First DUI Offense

Drivers who commit a first DUI in Hawaii will get their license suspended. Their credentials will be revoked for one year if they fail the BAC test, or for two years if they refuse to submit to a BAC test.

Second DUI Offense

Committing a second DUI offense within five years will also revoke your driving privileges for a certain period of time. The penalties for a second DUI violation will have your driver’s license revoked for 18 months if you fail a BAC test, or three years if you refuse to take the BAC test.

Third DUI Offense

A third DUI in Hawaii within five years will land you with even harsher consequences. Drivers who are charged with a third DUI will get a two-year driver’s license revocation for failing the BAC test, or a four-year revocation for refusing to submit to a BAC test.

Fourth DUI Offense

If you commit a fourth or subsequent DUI offense within 10 years, you will receive the most severe DUI penalties. Your driving privileges will be revoked for a period of five to 10 years for failing the BAC test, or for 10 years if you refuse to take the BAC test.

Note: Drivers who are charged with a DUI in Hawaii must appear in court on the due date written on their DUI ticket. Otherwise, a defendant may be sentenced to prison for a certain period of time.

Hawaii DUI Attorneys

A DU lawyer is a legal professional whose specialty is Hawaii DUI laws and other state regulations. Drivers who face drunk driving fines and other severe charges are recommended to hire a legal representative, regardless of whether it is their first DUI violation or not.

In order to hire the most appropriate drunk driving attorney for your specific situation, you should conduct background checks on all potential candidates. That way, you will create the best defense strategy before going in court.

Open Container Laws in Hawaii

One of Hawaii’s DUI laws is the Open Container Law which prohibits transporting, possessing or drinking from an open alcoholic beverage.

This rule applies to both drivers and passengers in a motor vehicle. Moreover, drivers will get charged with a DUI for breaking this law and for storing an open alcoholic beverage container somewhere in the passenger area.

Note: This law applies not only to people who are operating motor vehicles, but also to pedestrians who are using any public sidewalk.

Reinstating a Suspended Driver’s License in Hawaii

In order to reinstate a DUI suspended license in Hawaii, drivers are required to satisfy certain criteria. The reinstatement requirements may differ according to the type of offense you have committed, however motorists must complete the following:

  • Satisfy court requirements.
  • Provide proof of financial responsibility, if required.
  • Complete a specific traffic school program, depending on the motorist’s situation.
  • Reapply for a new driver’s license and retake the required exams.
  • Pay the applicable fees.

Hawaii Alcohol Awareness Classes

Drivers who have committed DUI offenses and had their driver’s license revocation as a result may be required to complete safe driving courses at a Hawaii traffic school. These DUI classes are available through the Division of Driver Education, which offers both traffic safety education and training programs for adult drivers and minors.

Drivers facing drunk driving charges in Hawaii will be required to enroll in the state Driver Education Program. Failure to complete this DUI course will hinder you form reinstate your driving privileges after a suspension or revocation.

SR-22 Insurance in Hawaii

When reinstating a suspended license, drivers may be required to provide proof of financial responsibility. The SR-21 or SR-22 insurance for DUI drivers is a liability statement which certifies that you are in compliance with HI DUI laws. Without an SR-22 form, you will not be able to prove financial responsibility and reinstate your license.

Hawaii Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI

Under the Implied Consent Law drivers must submit to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test when requested by a police officer. Drivers who are older than 21 years of age will face DUI charges in HI if they have a BAC level greater than 0.08 percent.

On the other hand, motorists younger than 21 years of age must obey the Zero Tolerance Law and show no more than 0.02 percent on the BAC test. Drivers will face severe consequences for failing or refusing to submit to a BAC test.

Hawaii Hardship License

Drivers who have had their license suspended in HI may apply for a hardship credential through the Hawaii Administrative Driver’s License Revocation Office (ADLRO).

You may choose to apply for one of the available hardship licenses – an ignition interlock permit (IIP) for personal reasons or an Employee Driver’s Permit (EDP) for work-related purposes. In order to obtain the IIP credential, you must have a valid license at the time of your arrest and install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle.

However, the EDP permit is available only to drivers who may lose their job if they are unable to operate an employer-owned vehicle. Note that the length of both hardship credentials is shorter than the Hawaii driver’s license suspension or revocation period.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.