Hawaii DUI Laws & Penalties

Hawaii DUI law § 291E-61 states that any person who operates or is in physical control of a motor vehicle while their ability to operate said vehicle is impaired by drugs or alcohol or has a blood alcohol concentration level of .08% or greater is considered to be driving under the influence.

Upon being arrested for a first offense driving under the influence charge in Hawaii, the arresting officer will take your driver's license and issue you a Notice of Administrative Revocation, as long as your driver's license was not under revocation or suspension for any other reason, the notice of administrative revocation will serve as your temporary driving permit for the next 30 days..

If you are a repeat DUI offender the arresting officer will take possession of your vehicle registration, and if the vehicle you were driving at the time of the arrest was owned by you, the officer will confiscate the vehicle's license plates and issue a temporary registration and plate that will be valid for 30 days.  If the vehicle's registration has expired, the arresting officer will not issue a temporary registration or plate.



Administrative Hearing Process

If your offense is an alcohol related offense you may submit any information that you have that demonstrates to the Administrative Driver's License Revocation Office why your license should not be revoked within 3 days of your arrest.  If your offense is drug related, you may submit your information within seventeen days of your arrest for review.

The Administrative Driver's License Revocation Office will mail you their decision to either reinstate your license or to uphold the revocation of your license for an alcohol related arrest within 8 days of your arrest and within 21 days of a drug related arrest.

If the Administrative Driver's License Revocation Office rules in your favor and determines that the officer's revocation of your license was not justified, they will mail you your registration, driver's license and your license plate no later than 25 days from the date of your arrest for an alcohol related arrest and no later than 39 days for a drug related arrest.

If their decision is to uphold the revocation of your license, you only have 6 days from the date the decision was mailed to you in which to request an in-person administrative hearing.  An in-person administrative hearing for a alcohol related case must be held within 25 days of the issuance of the notice of revocation by the arresting officer and within 39 days of the issuance for a drug related offense.

Penalties for Refusing a Chemical Test

The arresting officer is required by law to inform you that you do have the right to refuse to submit to a chemical test, but he or she must also inform you of the sanctions against your driving privileges for refusing a chemical test and then must ask you a second time after telling you the potential sanctions if you still refuse the test.

Your driver's license will be revoked for a period of 12-months for a first offense chemical test refusal and your license will be revoked for a minimum of 2-years and not more than 5-years for a second or subsequent chemical test refusal within a 5-year period.  The length of the revocation period will be based upon the circumstances surrounding your case and any previous convictions.

Conditional Driver's License

During your in-person administrative hearing the hearing director may issue you either a conditional license permit or an ignition interlock permit that will allow you to drive for the remainder of your revocation period following a minimum 30 days with no driving privileges.

In order to be eligible for a conditional license you must be employed in a job that requires you to drive while at work or risk loosing your job because you are not able to drive during work.  Or you have no access to any alternative means of transportation like a bus route.

If you are required to drive at your job, your employer will be required to issue a sworn statement stating the reason for your need to drive during working hours.

The conditional license will include restrictions for your driving schedule including only driving during hours of employment and for specific purposes that will be outlined by the Administrative Revocation Hearing Office director.  If you are granted a conditional license, you will be required to provide proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Hawaii SR22 insurance policy.

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Hawaii First Offense DUI

A first offense conviction means that you have not been convicted of a previous DUI charge within the past 5-years.  The penalties for a first offense DUI charge are as follows:

  • Jail time: The possible minimum jail sentence for a first offense conviction is 48 consecutive hours and the maximum jail sentence is 5 days.  If a passenger under the age of 15 was in the vehicle at the time of your arrest, you will have to serve an additional 48-hours of jail time.
  • Fines: The possible minimum fine for a first offense conviction is $150 and the maximum fine can go as high as $1,000.  A surcharge of $25 to the neurotrauma fund and possibly a surcharge of $25 to go to the trauma system fund.  Person's with a BAC of .15% or greater may have to pay an additional $25 to the trauma system fund.  If a passenger under the age of 15 was in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, you will also have to pay an additional mandatory fine of $500.
  • Substance abuse program: You will be required to attend a minimum of 14-hours in an approved substance abuse rehabilitation program.
  • Community service: The court may order you to serve a minimum of 72-hours of community service also.
  • Test refusal: First offense test refusal will result in a 1 year license revocation.
  • Ignition interlock: Installation of an ignition interlock will be required if you wish to drive during the revocation period.
  • License revocation: Your license will be revoke for between 90 days and 1 year. Before the Hawaii DMV will reinstate your license or issue you a conditional permit, you will be required to file an SR22 form with the DMV showing proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Hawaii SR22 Filing policy.

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Hawaii Second Offense DUI

A second offense conviction means that you have been convicted of one previous DUI within the past 5-years.  The penalties for a second offense DUI conviction are as follows:

  • Jail time: The minimum jail sentence for a second offense conviction is 5 days, of which the first 48 hours of imprisonment must be served consecutively and the maximum jail sentence is 14 days.  If a passenger under the age of 15 was in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, you will have to serve an additional 48 hours of mandatory jail time.
  • Fines: The minimum fine for a second offense conviction is $500 and the maximum fine can go as high as $1,500.  A surcharge of $25 to the neurotrauma fund and possibly a surcharge of $50 to go to the trauma system fund.  Person's with a BAC of .15% or greater may have to pay an additional $25 to the trauma system fund.  If a passenger under the age of 15 was in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, you will have to pay an additional $500 mandatory fine.
  • Substance abuse program: You will be required to attend a minimum of 14-hours in an approved substance abuse rehabilitation program.
  • Community service: The court may order you to serve a minimum of 240-hours of community service also.
  • Test refusal: Second offense test refusal will result in a 2 year license revocation.
  • Ignition interlock: Installation of an ignition interlock will be required if you wish to drive during the revocation period.
  • License revocation: The minimum license revocation period for a second offense is 1-year and the maximum revocation period is 2-years. Before the Hawaii DMV will reinstate your license at the end of your revocation period, you will be required to file an SR22 form with the DMV showing proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Hawaii SR22 policy.

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Hawaii Third or Subsequent Offense DUI

A third or subsequent offense conviction means that you have been convicted of two previous DUI's within the past 5-years.  A person who receives a third or subsequent offense within a 10-year period is considered a "habitual offender", which is a Class C Felony.  The penalties for a third or subsequent offense DUI conviction are as follows:

  • Jail time: The minimum jail sentence for a third or subsequent offense conviction is 10 days, of which the first 48 hours of imprisonment must be served consecutively and the maximum jail sentence is 30 days.  If a passenger under the age of 15 was in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, you will have to serve an additional 48 hours of mandatory jail time.

    If this is a habitual third or subsequent offense, the minimum jail time will be 10 days, of which the first 48-hours must be served consecutively.  The maximum term of imprisonment is 5-years; or the court may issue a 5-year term of probation in-lieu of the maximum imprisonment period.

  • Fines: The minimum fine for a third or subsequent offense conviction is $500 and the maximum fine can go as high as $2,500.  A surcharge of $25 to the neurotrauma fund and possibly a surcharge of $50 to go to the trauma system fund.  Person's with a BAC of .15% or greater may have to pay an additional $25 to the trauma system fund.  If a passenger under the age of 15 was in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, you will have to pay an additional $500 mandatory fine.
  • Vehicle Forfeiture: At the court's discretion a person convicted of 3 or more offenses may be required to forfeit their vehicle to the state.
  • Test refusal: Third or subsequent offense test refusal will result in a 4 year license revocation.
  • License revocation: The minimum license revocation period for a third or subsequent offense is 2-years and the maximum revocation period is 4-years.  The minimum revocation period for 3 or more offenses within a 5-year period will be 5-years and can go up to 10-years revocation.

    Before the Hawaii DMV will reinstate your license at the end of your revocation period, you will be required to file an SR22 form with the DMV showing proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Hawaii SR-22 insurance policy.

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Hawaii DUI Under 21 Years of Age

It is against the law for anyone under 21 years of age to operate a motor vehicle in the state of Hawaii with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system.  A person under 21 who is arrested for a first offense driving under the influence charge will be required to attend an alcohol abuse education and counseling program and will have their license suspended for 180 days.  The court, at its discretion may order a minimum 30 day suspension instead of the 180 day suspension and grant you a license for the remaining 150 days that will allow you to drive to and from work and to and from your alcohol abuse program only.

In addition to the above, the court may impose up to 36 hours of community service, a minimum fine of $150 and not more than $500 for a first offense.

A second violation under the age of 21 that occurs within 5-years of a previous charge will result in a license suspension of 1-year, up to 50-hours of community service and a minimum fine of $300 and not more than $1,000 for a second offense.

A third or subsequent offense within 5-years of a previous under 21 violation will result in your license being revoked for 2-years, 100 hours of community service and a minimum fine of $300 and not more than $1,000 for a third or subsequent under the age of 21 DUI offense.

Hawaii SR22 Requirements

Before the Hawaii DMV will reinstate your license following your suspension or revocation period or before issuing you a conditional or ignition interlock permit, they will require you to file an SR22 form with them before issuing you a new license or permit. You will be required to carry your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years.

At anytime during this 3-year period if there is a lapse in your Hawaii SR-22 insurance filingcoverage, your insurance provider is obligated by law to immediately inform the Hawaii DMV of the lapse.  If a lapse in coverage occurs, the Hawaii DMV will immediately revoke your license and you will be required to re-file an SR22 form with the DMV before they will issue you another license.

Since you are going to have to have your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years, it is important to find the cheapest policy you can before choosing one.  DUI Process has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of Hawaii and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won't be able to find a SR22 insurance policy in Hawaii for any less. Type in your zip code below so we can provide you with the cheapest rates in your area.

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Other Hawaii DUI Resources

  • Hawaii First Offense DUI - First offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and much more.

  • Hawaii SR22 Insurance Filings - We have compiled everything you need to know about Hawaii's SR22 insurance and filing requirements including important addresses, phone numbers, etc.

  • Hawaii DUI Alcohol Education Programs - We offer a complete listing of state approved DUI alcohol education programs listed by Island.

  • Hawaii Bail Bondsmen - Comprehensive list of Hawaii bail bond agents including address, phone, website, etc.