Hawaii law prohibits operating or being in actual physical control of a vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The term "vessel" includes every "description of watercraft that [is] used or … capable of being used as a means of transportation on or in the water." A person can be convicted of boating under the influence (BUI) for operating a vessel if:
- the amount of alcohol consumed by the boater is "sufficient to impair the person's normal mental faculties or ability to care for the person and guard against casualty"
- the drugs ingested "impairs the person's ability to operate the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner," or
- the boater had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater.
So, a BUI conviction can be based on actual drug or alcohol impairment or BAC.
The consequences of a Hawaii BUI conviction depend on the circumstances of the case. But generally, the possible penalties are:
- First-offense BUI. A first BUI typically carries one or more of the following: $150 to $1,000 in fines, 48 hours to five days in jail, and 72 hours of community service. Convicted boaters also face a one-year license revocation and must complete a 14-hour substance abuse program.
- Second-offense BUI. A second BUI generally carries $500 to $1,500 in fines and either 240 hours of community service or five to 30 days in jail. Convicted boaters also face an 18-month to two-year license revocation.
- Third-offense BUI. A third BUI generally carries $500 to $2,500 in fines and ten to 30 days in jail. Convicted boaters also face a two-year license revocation.
Generally, boaters must have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in all their vehicles during the period of license suspension.
Talk to an Attorney
The consequences of a Hawaii BUI are serious, and the facts of every case are different. If you've been arrested for boating under the influence, get in touch with an experienced BUI lawyer. A qualified attorney can explain how the law applies to the facts of your case and help you decide on the best course of action.