Drunk Driving and Blood Alcohol Content in Hawaii

Holidays or special events in Hawaii can be plentiful, especially during the holiday season and celebrations with family and friends also mean a higher rate of alcohol impaired driving. Those who are planning to be on the road after holiday parties should have a designated driver or exercise responsible drinking. According to MADD, over 4,000 DUI arrests were made by the Honolulu Police Department in 2009 on Oahu alone.

Blood Alcohol Content or BAC is used to determine whether a person is legally intoxicated under the state's Drunk Driving laws. BAC is the concentration of alcohol in one's bloodstream, expressed as a percentage. The legally intoxicated BAC level for Hawaii is .08 percent. If you are under the age of 21, the legally intoxicated BAC level is .02 or higher. Commercial Vehicle Driver's BAC is .04 or higher.

In addition to the increased chances of being involved in a serious accident, also be aware of the legal ramifications for being caught while legally intoxicated.

First time offenders will have their driver's license suspended for 90 days to one year and those with a BAC of .15 or higher will have their driver's license suspended for a minimum of 6 months. They will also receive 48 hours to five days in jail and a fine of $150 to $1,000. If deemed appropriate, penalties also include 72 hours of community service instead of a fine or jail. You must also participate in a mandatory substance abuse education and counseling program for convicted drunk drivers.

Repeated offenses carry longer license suspension, jail times and community service periods in addition to larger monetary fines. A fourth DUI offense is a Class "C" felony carrying a possible 5 years in prison, probation for 5 years, a mandatory license revocation for no less than one year, 10 days in jail and a referral to substance abuse counseling.

If you are planning to drink at a party or gathering this holiday season, please consider appointing a designated driver or make alternate plans to call a taxi.If you are planning to drink at a party or gathering this holiday season, please consider appointing a designated driver or make alternate plans to call a taxi.

*Source: U.S. DUI Laws.

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