Hawaii First-Offense DUI/OVUII

Fines, jail, and license-related penalties resulting from a first-offense DUI in Hawaii.

Hawaii’s DUI laws prohibit the operation or actual physical control of a vehicle:

  • with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater (.04% or more if the driver is operating a commercial vehicle)
  • while the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle in a careful and prudent manner is impaired by drugs or other intoxicants, or
  • while the driver’s mental faculties are diminished to some material respect due to alcohol consumption.

Driving under the influence (sometimes called an OVUII (“operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant”)) is considered a first offense if the offender has no prior DUI violations in the last ten years.

Criminal Penalties

Hawaii law sets out minimum and maximum penalties for a first-offense DUI. The precise penalties will be issued by the judge depending on the circumstances of the offense. The driver’s license will be revoked for one year as well as one or more of the following:

  • The offender can be fined $250 to $1,000.
  • The offender may face 48 hours to five days in jail.
  • Community service. The offender can be required to serve up to 72 hours of community service.

An offender transporting a passenger under 15 years old will be sentenced to an additional 48 hours in jail and an additional $500 in fines.

Driver’s License Revocation

A DUI incident can lead to license revocation several different ways. But if a driver receives more than one revocation, the revocations generally run concurrently. In other words, the driver won’t have to deal with back-to-back revocations.

Test failure. If the driver had a BAC of .08% or more, the arresting officer is supposed to seize the driver’s license and issue a temporary license. The temporary license is effective until the revocation becomes effective. A first-offense test failure results in a one-year revocation.

Test refusal. Hawaii’s “implied consent” laws require all drivers lawfully arrested for a DUI to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test. An unlawful refusal will result in the driver’s license being immediately seized and revoked for one year.

Appeal. All administrative revocations are appealable. The deadline for appealing an administrative revocation depends on the type of revocation and the type of review requested.

IID permit. A revoked driver is eligible to drive during the revocation period with the use of an ignition interlock device (IID). The IID permit is not available to drivers under the age of 18.

Restricted license. A driver might also be eligible for an employment permit, authorizing the operation of a work vehicle while revoked. To obtain the permit, the applicant must submit proof of employment, proof of need from the employer, and agree to certain restrictions.

Plea Bargaining

Hawaii law prohibits a DUI from being pled down to a less-serious offense (like a reckless driving charge). However, the motorist may be able to reduce or mitigate some of the penalties or may have viable defenses to the charge. If you are charged with a DUI, it’s best to consult with an experienced DUI lawyer who can explain your options.

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