Common DUI Questions

Common DUI Questions

Have you been arrested for a DUI in Honolulu? Are you currently facing criminal charges due to a drunk driving-related incident? If so, The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady, LLC has been helping clients in Honolulu, Hawaii overcome their DUI charges for 25+ years.

How am I qualified to help you? By contacting me, you will be working with a Honolulu DUI lawyer who has the following professional achievements:

  • Avvo Clients' Choice Award
  • Member of the National College for DUI Defense
  • Verified by Law Q&A
  • Legal and Paralegal Instructor in Criminal Law, Evidence, and Ethics
  • Former Chief Prosecutor
  • Military Reservist

I understand that an arrest arising from a DUI can be incredibly overwhelming, but know that you do not have to face this legal process on your own. Below, I have included the most frequently asked questions that I receive at my firm. To gain a better understanding of your current situation, or to simply learn more about the DUI laws in Hawaii, I encourage you to read through the following set of questions and answers.

Your Questions Answered

What is considered to be a DUI in Hawaii? 
Like most other states, drivers found to be operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08% or higher will be arrested for DUI. In order to measure a driver's BAC, officers often subject drivers to breath tests, blood tests, or urine tests. In other instances, a police officer may ask a driver to participate in a field sobriety test. In Hawaii you can be charged with per se (BAC) and or with impairment (regardless of your BAC).

Will I have to go to jail if I am convicted of a DUI in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, the penalties for a DUI conviction vary depending on the circumstances of the offense, such as the offender's blood alcohol content (BAC) level, prior DUI convictions, and whether there was an accident or injury involved. Jail time is a possible penalty for a DUI conviction in Hawaii, but not all offenders will be sentenced to jail.

For a first-time DUI offense in Hawaii, the offender may face a minimum of 48 hours in jail, up to a maximum of 5 days. For a second offense within 5 years, the offender may face a minimum of 5 days in jail, up to a maximum of 14 days. For a third offense within 10 years, the offender may face a minimum of 10 days in jail, up to a maximum of 30 days. If the offender's BAC was over 0.15%, the minimum jail time for each offense is increased.

It's worth noting that jail time is not the only penalty for a DUI conviction in Hawaii. Offenders may also face fines, community service, mandatory alcohol education or treatment programs, and license suspension or revocation. The specific penalties will depend on the circumstances of the offense and the discretion of the judge handling the case.

I was arrested for a DUI. When should I talk to a lawyer? 
Immediately. In the state of Hawaii, a police officer will issue an instantaneous driver's license revocation upon a DUI arrest. Your attorney can take steps to request and or preserve evidence early after your arrest and can also speak with witnesses or visit the scene close in time to your arrest. Your attorney will be able to represent you during this administrative hearing, as well as any type of criminal proceeding thereafter.

What will happen to my driver's license if I do not petition a license revocation? 
If you fail to take action and request a hearing in a timely manner, you could be jeopardizing your driving privileges. Upon arrest, an arresting officer will issue you a Notice of Administrative Revocation. This notice will serve as a temporary driving permit for 30 days. Failure to take action on a first-time DUI offense could result in a mandatory driver's license revocation for up to 1 year.

Is it required by law to take a breath or chemical test? 
You do have the right to refuse a breath or chemical test, however, you will also face possible penalties as a result of refusing a chemical test. Admittedly, chemical tests are prone to error and inaccuracy, however, it will be imperative that you listen to law enforcement officers. Refusal of a breath or chemical test could result in a license revocation for up to 2 years on a first-time offense.

What happens if I failed a field sobriety test? 
Do not assume that your case will rely solely on the results yielded during a field sobriety test! Even if you have failed a field sobriety test, these tests are not always accurate and often do not take in special circumstances of the person taking the test. 

For example, people with health issues, coordination issues, or sight issues may not perform in a way that would suggest sobriety. Additionally, other external factors, such as uneven roads, weather, stress, or improper administration by the police officer could lead to erroneous results.

Call Today for a Free Consultation

If you have more questions or concerns regarding your DUI case, I am here to help. As a former Chief Prosecutor, I have spent countless hours on both sides of the fence. I know how the police officers operate and more importantly, I understand what must be done to counter the evidence against you.

I am happy to answer all of your questions or concerns - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call my Honolulu DUI law firm today at (808) 521-3367 to request your free case consultation.