Hawaii prohibits any person from operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant (OVII)—often called “driving under the influence” (DUI). A driver can get a DUI in Hawaii for driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08% or more or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. “Under the influence” generally means the driver's mental faculties are diminished or ability to operate is impaired.
The penalties for a Hawaii DUI conviction are set by law, but the judge has discretion in sentencing within the ranges provided in the statutes.
First offense. A first-offense DUI carries a one-year license revocation, a 14-hour rehabilitation program, and one or more of the following:
Second offense. An offender with a prior DUI conviction in the last ten years will be guilty of a second-offense DUI and face two to three years of license revocation and $1,000 to $3,000 in fines. The judge will also order either jail (five to 30 days) or community service (up to 240 hours).
Child passengers. A DUI involving a passenger under the age of 15 carries an additional $500 fine and 48 hours in jail.
Habitually operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant is a class C felony. A DUI is considered a habitual offense if the offender has two prior DUI convictions or one prior habitual DUI conviction in the last ten years.
The offender will face possible continuous alcohol monitoring, up to five years in prison, five years of probation, three-to-five-year license revocation, $2,000 to $5,000 in fines, and having to complete substance abuse counseling. The vehicle used in the commission of the offense will also be subject to forfeiture.
The judge will order license revocation for a DUI conviction, but the offender's license can also be revoked administratively. Generally, revocations run concurrently if more than one is imposed for a single incident.
After a DUI arrest, the driver is usually asked to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test. The department will revoke the driver's license for a chemical test failure or for a chemical test refusal.
Test failure. If the test results reveal a BAC that's above the legal limit, the driver's license will be revoked. The duration of the revocation depends on the number of prior DUI-related revocations in the last five years. The revocation periods are:
Test refusal. Drivers who unlawfully refuse to submit to the requested test face a revocation period that's based on how many prior DUI-related revocations the driver had in the last five years. These revocation periods are:
Ignition interlock. Revoked drivers who are at least 18 years old are eligible to apply for an ignition interlock device (IID) permit. With this permit, the driver is allowed to operate a vehicle equipped with an IID during the revocation period.