The holiday season is drawing near, which means holiday festivities and parties abound. Along with all the celebrating with family and friends is the chance that you may find yourself having a little too much egg-nog to be able to drive home safely. It happens quite easily, since although we vow to ourselves to take it easy with the drinking, we get caught up in the spirit of the holidays and end up indulging. Good angel on one shoulder saying, “Tsk! Tsk!”, and the bad angel on the other shoulder saying, “What’s one more drink, it’s the Holidays!”
Soon you find yourself feeling the effects and knowing you should either call a cab, spend the night, or hitch a ride with a friend to make it home safely. Good angel whispers, “Don’t take the chance driving home. There will be DUI check-points.” Bad angel whispers, “Nahhh… who’s drunk? You’re fine to drive home. You’ve done it before and made it home just fine.”
Be cautious this holiday season. There’s no doubt that police will be setting up DUI checkpoints to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities. Hawaii’s drunk driving law prohibits driving when the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of the driver is .08% or above, the standard measurement used across the nation. This law includes driving on the road as well as in the air or on the water. It’s interesting to note that a driver under the age of 21 can be convicted with a BAC of .02% or higher and a commercial vehicle driver can be charged with a BAC of .04% or higher.
How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit in Hawaii?
Several factors including weight, body fat percentage, time interval between drinks, and gender all effect blood alcohol concentration. Therefore, it’s difficult to accurately determine BAC levels based on how much you’ve had to drink. Some studies have found that your BAC can rise as much as .05% per drink. With those results, it takes very little alcohol to become legally intoxicated and unable to drive.
Since it takes so little to be legally intoxicated, it’s quite easy to end up being pulled over for DUI/OUI, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Bad angel tries to convince you it won’t happen to you, but next thing you know you see the dreaded police lights flashing in your rear-view mirror. You take a moment, hoping it’s not you the law enforcement is waving over to the side of the road. But, it is… and now begin the consequences.
Being Pulled Over For DUI
So, what happens when you get pulled over for DUI? The police officer will check to see if you have been drinking by performing a roadside testing. If you fail the test, you will be arrested and read your Miranda rights. Being arrested for DUI can put a big blotch on your driving record and cost you a lot of money.
- If you fail the roadside sobriety test (standing on one leg and touching your nose, walking a straight line, etc), you will be read your rights.
- You will be handcuffed and taken to the police station.
- Your car will be towed and impounded.
- You will be asked to take a Breathalyzer test, which you can refuse. If you refuse, your license will be confiscated and suspended.
- You will be put behind bars until you’ve become sober.
The penalties for driving while intoxicated are strict in order to help prevent people from making the wrong choice. Drunk driving causes many motor vehicle crashes, some of which are fatal.
- If it is your first DUI offense, your drivers license will be suspended for 90 days. The court may consider granting you limited driving privileges if you are employed and have no other means of transportation. You are also required to enroll in a 14-day alcohol or drug abuse program. You may also be sentenced to community service of up to 72 hours.
- If it is your second DUI offense and it is within five years of the first offense, you will be fined between $500 and $1500. You may also spend 5 to 14 days in jail or have 240 hours of community service. Your license will be suspended for one year.
- If it is your third DUI offense and it is within five years of the first offense, you will be fined between $500 and $2500. You may also spend 10 to 30 days in jail. Your license will be suspended for two to five years. You will not be allowed to have a vehicle.
If you find yourself arrested for DUI, please don’t hesitate to call our office for a free consultation. We can help you understand the penalties as well as what you can expect in court depending on your specific situation. If you have questions about your DUI/OUI case, please call experienced Maui DUI attorney David A. Sereno.
So, be careful this holiday season. Remember, the best option is not to drive after drinking, even if you don’t feel intoxicated. Have a designated driver or take a cab. Listen to your good angel… and have a wonderful holiday season, instead of letting your Bad angel squelch all the fun.