If you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI/OUI (Driving Under the Influence) in Hawaii, it’s highly recommended that you engage an experienced attorney in the county where you have been arrested. We at Wong Leong Cuccia have a team of experienced lawyers who specialize in DUI/OUI defense in Hawaii and we serve all of Maui County (Maui, Lanai & Molokai) and Big Island (Hawai’i County).
We are frequently asked if it’s possible to get out of a DUI/OUI charge in Hawaii. Clients often feel that it’s hopeless, but that is seldom the case. Just because you were arrested for an OVUII charge (operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant) or DUI in Hawaii does not mean you can’t win your case. You have rights and working with an experienced and licensed Hawaii lawyer is the first course of action to give you the best chance of avoiding the penalties of a DUI in Hawaii.
What you need to know if you are charged with a DUI in Hawaii
It’s against the law to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol in Hawaii. If your blood alcohol concentration is .08% or higher, you can be charged with a DUI (OVUII or OUI). This is regardless of whether your ability to drive has been impaired or not.
If you are under the age of 21 you can be arrested for a DUI with ANY amount of alcohol in your system.
The penalties that come with a DUI conviction are what’s called priorable which means the penalties increase with each offense. A first-time offense does not carry mandatory jail time but could mean up to a 5 day stay in the county jail, plus fines and license revocation.
Many factors will impact your sentence. You should consult with a Maui DUI/OUI lawyer before you get to the point of being sentenced, in fact the sooner you hire an attorney the better.
The Penalties for DUI in Hawaii
- First DUI (No prior convictions in the last 10 years) – Any one or more of the following penalties: Seventy-two hours of community service work or No less than forty-eight hours and no more than five days of imprisonment; or A fine of no less than $250 but no more than $1,000. A one year license revocation
- Additionally any person who is convicted under this section and was a highly intoxicated driver (BrAC/BAC should be 0.15) at the time of the incident shall be sentenced to an additional mandatory term of imprisonment for forty-eight consecutive hours and an additional mandatory revocation period of six months.
- Second DUI (One prior conviction in the last 10 years) – Either one of the following: No less than two hundred forty hours of community service work; or No less than five days but no more than thirty days of imprisonment, of which at least forty-eight hours shall be served consecutively. And fine of no less than $1,000 but no more than $3,000. A license revocation of no less than two years but no more than three years.
- Additionally, any person who is convicted under this section and was a highly intoxicated driver (BrAC/BAC 0.15 or over) at the time of the incident shall be sentenced to an additional mandatory term of imprisonment of ten consecutive days and an additional mandatory revocation period of one year.
- Third DUI of Felony Habitual DUI/OUI (Two prior conviction in the last 10 years) – Habitually operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant is a class C felony which is punishable by an indeterminate term of imprisonment of five years; or a term of probation of five years, with conditions to include: a license revocation of no less than three years but no more than five years, no less than ten days imprisonment, of which at least forty-eight hours shall be served consecutively; and a fine of no less than $2,000 but no more than $5,000.
- Additionally, any person who is convicted under this section and was a highly intoxicated driver (BrAC/BAC 0.15 or over) at the time of the incident shall be sentenced the offense shall be a class B felony and the person shall be sentenced to the following: An indeterminate term of imprisonment of ten years; or a term of probation of five years, with conditions to include the following: Permanent revocation of license, no less than eighteen months imprisonment and a fine of no less than $5,000 but no more than $25,000.
Among other things, getting your blood alcohol level into evidence at trial can be very hard for Prosecutors. That’s why it is important to have an experienced DUI lawyer. Our attorneys will listen to you and gather all of the information they need to defend your rights. Their experience with DUI defense in Hawaii can give you the confidence that every possibility will be explored for your case.
Don’t let a criminal DUI conviction threaten your future, contact our office for a free, no-commitment consultation today.
Use the form below to set up an appointment to speak with one of our attorneys or call us at 808-727-2150