A criminal defense team who knows the law
is the first step to fighting back against DUI Charges
A criminal defense team who knows the law is the first step to fighting back against DUI Charges
A criminal defense team who knows the law

How Hawaii’s implied consent law can impact traffic stops

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2024 | Traffic Violations |

There are certain laws about impaired driving that motorists need to know. Otherwise, people could break the law without intending to do so. Most obviously, it is illegal for people to get behind the wheel when they know they are under the influence or that alcohol has affected their abilities. It is also illegal for someone to drive when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) goes over the legal limit, regardless of whether they notice a change in their driving ability or not.

Police officers often pull people over to better screen them for signs of intoxication while driving. There are other laws that affect how the state enforces impaired driving rules. Hawaii has an implied consent law that directly influences the enforcement of driving under the influence (DUI) statutes.

Refusing a test can sometimes be a crime

People have a right to avoid self-incrimination when dealing with the state, but that right has certain limits. The implied consent law in Hawaii makes it clear that drivers have already given permission for chemical testing in a very specific situation.

If a police officer has arrested someone or is in the process of doing so, the implied consent law applies. Drivers generally need to submit to breath tests administered when a police officer has the probable cause necessary to arrest someone for impaired driving. Refusing a breast test while under arrest is a separate violation from the DUI offense. The state could potentially impose an additional license suspension beyond the penalties for the DUI charge for an implied consent offense.

Implied consent laws do not apply to requests for voluntary testing before an officer arrests someone. There should not be any penalty for refusing a breath test if an officer does not have a reason to arrest someone. Similarly, drivers should be able to decline field sobriety tests without risking immediate arrest or accusations of violating the implied consent statute.

Those who don’t know their rights often make mistakes during traffic stops or DUI arrests. As such, learning more about the law in Hawaii may be beneficial for residents, tourists and those who occasionally drink in social settings.