DUI Laws in Hawaii

Laws and penalties for DUI in Hawaii.

In Hawaii, you can get a DUI, sometimes called an OVUII (“operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant”), if you drive or are in physical control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher, regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired. However, you can also get a DUI if you drive or are in physical control of a vehicle while impaired as the result of ingesting alcohol or drugs, or any combination of these.

(For an estimate of how many drinks it takes to get to the legal limit, take a look at our BAC table.)

And the law in Hawaii says that if you’re driving or in physical control of a vehicle, you’ve given consent to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol in your blood. Here are some details on the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test in Hawaii and other details about Hawaii DUI law.

In Hawaii, what are the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test (usually a breathalyzer or blood test) when suspected of DUI?

Here are the consequences for not taking a breathalyzer or blood test in Hawaii, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

1 year license revocation

2 years license revocation

2 years license revocation

In Hawaii, when do police have to measure your BAC?

In Hawaii, law enforcement officers are supposed to measure your BAC at the time of driving. However, prosecutors may be able to prove your culpability for DUI even if your BAC is taken later than this time.

What is the maximum BAC for drivers under 21 in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, the maximum BAC for drivers who are under 21 (considered minors under some drinking and driving laws) is .02%. Penalties include 180 day suspension of license (first offense); one year suspension (second offense); two year suspension (third offense).

What are the minimum jail times for a DUI in Hawaii?

Here are the minimum jail times for a DUI in Hawaii, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

No minimum required jail time

No minimum required jail time (if defendant does 240 hours community service)

10 days jail

How long will prior DUI convictions remain relevant for sentencing purposes in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, prior DUI convictions stay on your record (and can be counted against you when you are being sentenced for another DUI offense) for five years prior to a second or third offense, and ten years prior to a fourth offense.

Can a DUI be “pleaded down” to a "wet reckless" in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, it’s possible for someone who’s accused of driving under the influence to “plea bargain” for a lesser charge. When such a plea deal is for a reckless driving charge, it’s sometimes called a “wet reckless.”

(Read more about plea bargaining in Hawaii OVUII cases and the consequences of a reckless driving conviction.)

Are ignition interlock devices (IIDs) required for convicted DUI offenders in Hawaii?

Yes, for all convictions. The device must be installed for the duration of the period of license revocation (first offense: one year; second offense: 18 months; third offense: two years).

Where can I get more information about DUI laws in Hawaii?

Nolo's DUI/DWI topic has many helpful articles, including a Drunk Driving, DUI, and DWI FAQ. For more help after a DUI arrest, see Nolo's Lawyer Directory, where you can view in-depth profiles of Hawaii DUI attorneys in your area.

Last updated on 02/16/2016.

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