Hawaii’s Underage DUI Laws

How Hawaii’s drunk driving laws apply to drivers who are under 21 years old and the consequences of an underage DUI.

In Hawaii, drivers who are under the legal drinking age (21 years old) are prohibited from operating a vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system. In other words, Hawaii has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving.

Underage DUI Penalties

The consequences of an underage DUI depend on the driver's record and age and the circumstances of the case. However, the possible penalties are generally as follows:

  • First offense. For a first violation, the driver will generally be facing a 180-day license suspension (after 30 days, a restricted license is available for drivers who are at least 18 years old) and will have to complete an alcohol education and counseling program (for drivers under the age of 18, a parent must also attend). The judge can also require the driver to complete up to 36 hours of community service and pay a fine of $150 to $500.
  • Second offense within five years. For a second violation, the driver will typically be facing a one-year license suspension. The judge can also require the driver to complete up to 50 hours of community service and pay a fine of $300 to $1,000.
  • Third offense within five years. For a third violation, the driver will typically be facing a two-year license suspension. The judge can also require the driver to complete up to 100 hours of community service and pay a fine of $300 to $1,000.

Within these ranges, the judge gets to decide what specific penalties to impose.

When Underage Drivers Face Standard DUI Penalties

Underage drivers who are caught operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more or while under the influence of (impaired by) drugs or alcohol face the standard DUI penalties. Depending on the circumstances, someone convicted of a standard DUI (also called "operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant" or "OVUII") could be looking at fines, jail time, and license suspension.

Talk to an Attorney

Regardless of the charge, it's always best to talk to an experienced DUI attorney if you've been cited for driving under the influence. A qualified lawyer can tell you how the law applies to your situation and help you decide on the best course of action.

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