When investigating someone for driving under the influence (DUI) (Hawaii also uses the term "operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant" or "OVUII") it's common for an officer to ask the person to take a breath, blood, or urine test to determine the amount of alcohol or drugs in the driver's system. The driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or the concentration of drugs in the driver's blood is often used to prove a DUI in court.
This article gives an overview of Hawaii's implied consent law and the consequences of an unlawful refusal.
Hawaii's implied consent law specifies that any person who holds a Hawaii driver's license or operates a vehicle within the state is deemed to have consented to a blood, breath, or urine test. For a DUI arrest to be lawful, the officer must have probable cause to believe that the driver was driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or that an underage driver was operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol.
The consequences of a refusal generally depend on how many prior offenses the driver has that occurred within the past five years.
First offense. For a first refusal, the driver is generally facing a two-year license suspension.
Second offense. For a second refusal within five years, the driver is looking at a suspension of three-year suspension.
Third offense. For a third refusal within five years, the driver is generally facing a four-year license revocation.
For underage drivers, the penalties are not as severe.
First offense. For a first refusal, the driver is generally facing a 12-month license suspension.
Second offense. For a second or subsequent refusal within five years, the driver is looking at a suspension of two to five years.
Drivers who wish to contest their refusal-related suspension can request an administrative hearing.