Even though Hawaii is known for its lush beaches, luxurious resorts and breathtaking scenery, this vacation destination has some strict alcohol-related laws just like the other 50 states. So whether you’re a resident or a tourist, know the law so your time in Hawaii is a pleasant one free of any stressful, costly legal trouble.
Legal Age to Serve and Drink in Hawaii
Hawaii law requires that all people working in restaurants and bars be at least 18 years of age, and an 18-year-old employee may serve alcohol when in an approved job training program, but a manager must be visibly present when someone under the age of 21 is handling or serving alcohol to a restaurant or bar patron.
In private social settings (for instance, a party at a house), a person younger than 21 may consume alcohol if a parent or guardian has served the alcohol and is visibly present. Just as in most of the 50 states, a minor using a false identification to purchase alcohol is a crime, and the penalty may include suspension of his driving license for up to a year.
For drivers under the age of 21, the legal blood alcohol content or concentration (BAC) is only .02, so if a minor is caught drinking and driving with a BAC of higher than .02, he will face some of the same penalties as an adult caught driving with a BAC of .08.
Driving Under the Influence in Hawaii
Here are the penalties you could face if arrested and convicted of your first DUI, or the second or third offense if your previous conviction was more than five years ago in Hawaii:
- An assessment by a drug and alcohol counselor to determine your need for rehabilitation; completion of treatment if necessary
- A minimum 14-hour substance abuse rehabilitation program
- A one-year revocation of your driver’s license
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- If you refused a breath or blood test, the one-year revocation could be doubled
- Up to 72 hours of community service
- Not less than 48 hours nor more than five days of imprisonment
- A fine of anywhere between $150 and $1,000
If you’re convicted of a second DUI within five years of the first conviction, the penalties may include:
- Drug/alcohol assessment and treatment if necessary
- 18 month to two-year driver’s license revocation
- Three years’ license revocation if you refuse a blood/breath test
- 240 hours community service hours or 5 to 30 days imprisonment
- A fine of not less than $500 but not more than $1,500
- Various surcharges to alcohol-related funds/charities
If convicted of a DUI within five years of your previous offense, you could face these penalties:
- An assessment by a drug and alcohol counselor and treatment if deemed necessary
- Two year driver’s license revocation (that time period doubles to four years if you refuse a blood or breathalyzer test
- 10 to 30 days imprisonment;
- A fine of not less than $500 but no more than $2,500;
- Forfeiture of your vehicle
- Various surcharges to alcohol-related funds and charities
Please contact a Hawaii criminal defense attorney with experience in alcohol-related crimes if you’re arrested while living or visiting Hawaii.