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Sentence Enhancement for DUI (OVII) in Hawaii

Hawaii has a sentence enhancement if there is a young passenger in the car while the driver was operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant. If the driver convicted of an OVII is 18 or older, and had a passenger in the car younger than 15 years old, the driver will have an additional mandatory fine of $500. The driver will also have a mandatory term of imprisonment of 48 hours as long as it doesn’t exceed the maximum term of the conviction sentence.  The driver’s license will also be revoked for at least two years.

Hawaii also has a highly intoxicated statute. This type of sentence enhancement is to punish drivers who operate vehicles with a BAC well over the legal limit. A highly intoxicated driver will have a BAC of 0.15 or higher as opposed to .08. A highly intoxicated driver will be sentenced to:

  • 14 hour minimum substance abuse program
  • Prompt suspension of their license and privilege to operate a vehicle for six months with an absolute prohibition from operating a vehicle
  • One or more of:
    • 72 hours of community service
    •  48 hours to five days of imprisonment
    • Fine between $150 to $1,000.

A driver who refuses to submit to a breath, blood or urine test at the time when the officer pulls the driver over, can also be charged with a petty misdemeanor. A petty misdemeanor can have a sentence up to 30 days in jail and a maximum of a $1000 fine.

Hawaii also has a sentence enhancement for an OVII if a person is convicted of an OVII 4 times in 10 years. If a person is on their 4th charge of an OVII in 10 years, they will be considered a habitual operator of a vehicle under the influence and it is a class C felony charge. A habitual operator of a vehicle under the influence can be punishable up to 5 years in prison or a 5 -year probation period that includes

  • Mandatory revocation of license and privilege to operate a vehicle for a period between 1 and 5 years
  •  Imprisonment between 2-10 days with at least forty-eight hours served consecutively
  • Referral to a certified substance abuse counselor
  • Surcharge of $25 to be deposited into the neurotrauma special fund
  • Surcharge of up to $50 to be deposited into the trauma system special fund.

Hawaii has a separate statute and punishments for a driver who is highly intoxicated. A person who is highly intoxicated will have a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or more, measured either at the time of the offense, or within three hours of the time of the offense. Highly intoxicated means the amount of alcohol is .15 or more grams of alcohol per 100mL or cubic centimeters in a person’s blood, or .15 or more grams of alcohol per 210L of breath at the time of the offense or within three hours of the offense. A highly intoxicated driver has a more severe punishment than a driver operating a vehicle above the legal limit of .08. For a first offense of a highly intoxicated driver, or any offense committed by a highly intoxicated driver that was not within five years of a prior OVII conviction, the highly intoxicated driver will be sentenced to:

  • 14 hour minimum substance abuse program
  • Prompt suspension of their license and privilege to operate a vehicle for six months with an absolute prohibition from operating a vehicle
  • One or more of:
    • 72 hours of community service
    •  48 hours to five days of imprisonment
    • Fine between $150 to $1,000.

A person that is highly intoxicated and is convicted of operating a vehicle will be sentence with non-waivable terms and can’t benefit from parole or suspension of sentencing under any given circumstance for prescribed duration of the court.

If the highly intoxicated driver is over the age of 18 and has a passenger in the car younger than 15, the driver will have an even steeper punishment. The highly intoxicated driver will have an additional mandatory fine of $500. The driver will also have a mandatory term of imprisonment of 48 hours as long as it doesn’t exceed the maximum term of the conviction sentence.  The driver’s license will also be revoked for at least two years.


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