Time flies away when we are with friends, and sometimes drivers don’t realize the number of drinks they had before jumping back behind the wheel. A driver may not do this with bad intentions, but that won’t matter to the police if they stop them. If this happened to you, and the police arrested you for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant (OVUII), you have the right to defend your case. An OVUII conviction has its penalties, and you may want to avoid them at all costs.
First-time OVUII in Hawaii
In Hawaii, the police can arrest a driver if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more. After the arrest, the person will have an OVUII charge that can become a conviction if the court finds them guilty. The consequences for a first time OVUII conviction are:
- A 14-hour minimum substance abuse rehabilitation program
- One year revocation of license
- Installation of an ignition interlock device on the person’s car during their revocation period
- Payment of $25 for the neurotrauma special fund
- Payment of $25 for the trauma system special fund
Additionally, a person may have to do one or more of the following: complete 72 hours of community service, spend between 48 hours and 5 days in jail or pay a fine between $250 and $1,000. The court will decide which of these penalties to impose on the driver. The amount of the fine could increase an additional $500 if the driver had a passenger of 15 years or younger, in which case the court would also extend the mandatory term of imprisonment to an extra 48 hours.
With an interlock device installed in the car, a person convicted of an OVUII can still drive. The court will order the installation of the device unless the driver’s license was expired, revoked or not valid at the time of the offense. Also, if the person needs to drive for their job, the court may not order them to install the device but will issue them a separate driving permit instead. Those with a special driving permit will only be able to drive for purposes of their employment and cannot drive for more than 12 hours.
Having an OVUII charge does not mean that the court will convict you. You have the right to explain your situation to the court, and the judge will consider your arguments to make a proper decision. An experienced lawyer can help you build a strong defense by analyzing the evidence from your case, as sometimes the police can make mistakes like not properly administering the chemical or breath tests. You don’t deserve an unfair conviction, and you have the right to fight back to avoid it.