Close Menu
Better Understand the Law
Home > Hawaii DUI Law

DUI & DWI in Hawaii

If you’ve just seen the red flashing lights in your review mirror or have been stopped at a roadblock and arrested for DUI, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll show you how to find a Hawaii DUI attorney and we’ll explain:

  • Hawaii DUI Laws
  • Hawaii DUI Punishments
  • Potential DUI Defenses
  • Hawaii’s Other Drunk Driving and Alcohol Laws
  • How to Find a Hawaiian DUI Defense Lawyer

When is a Driver Considered to be Legally Drunk in Hawaii?

Hawaii drunk driving laws are found in The Hawaii Code. Here’s the nutshell version of the legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limits:

  • The Hawaiian BAC measure for most drivers is .08 or higher.
  • Hawaii has a zero tolerance policy for under age 21 drivers. If there, is any alcohol in the system, it’s drunk driving.
  • The illegal BAC mark for commercial drivers (including school bus drivers) is.04 or higher.

NOTE: If you are driving unsafely, you can be arrested for drunk driving even if your BAC is under these limits. The law dictates that if your driving is impaired by drugs, alcohol, medications, or anything else, you shouldn’t be driving.

What is Hawaii’s Punishment for DUI Convictions?

Your DUI defense attorney will fight to get you the minimum DUI penalties if you are convicted. Here are the punishment ranges:

  • 1st DUI Conviction: Jail time of 48 hours to 5 days – fine of $150 to $1,000-72 hours of community service – substance abuse program – driver’s license suspension of 90 days – loss of commercial license.

  • 2nd DUI Conviction within 5 Years: Jail time of 5 days to 14 days or at least 42 hours of community service – fine of $500 to $1,500 – driver’s license suspension of 1 year – loss of commercial license.

  • 3rd DUI Conviction within 5 years: Jail time of 10 days to 30 days – fine of $500 to $2,500 – driver’s license suspension of 1 to 5 years – loss of commercial license – vehicle forfeiture.

NOTE: Penalties are increased if you are driving with a child under age 15 in your car when you’re arrested for DUI.

Hawaii Drunk Driving Defenses

As we mentioned immediately above, your DUI defense attorney will seek to have the minimum punishments doled out if you are convicted. He or she will point out mitigating factors such as a clean driving record, a BAC very close to the limit, and safe driving.

  • However, of course, the first effort will be to have the charges dropped or have you found innocent of the DUI charges.
  • And the second effort will be to get the DUI charges reduced to a lesser charge.

Mistakes with the original traffic stop, BAC testing, arrest, detainment, or trial, may be a complete defense.

Hawaii’s Other Drunk Driving and Alcohol Laws

Hawaii’s Liquor Control Law
A person injured (because a licensed drinking establishment served an under age 21 patron or an intoxicated patron) can successfully sue the establishment and recover financial compensation for injuries.

Hawaii’s Providing Alcohol to Underage Persons Law
30 days in jail. That’s the criminal penalty for providing alcohol to an underage person.

How to Find a Hawaii DUI Attorney

A DUI defense attorney knows the law, the legal system, how to negotiate with prosecutors, and the evidence to present to the judge. To find a Hawaii DUI lawyer, search our website,, or ask friends or the bar association for a referral.

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn