New DUI law 06-26-07

PHONE: 961-2305
JUNE 26, 2007


Big Island Police are warning the public that the state’s DUI law has been amended to target highly intoxicated drivers. The law, which takes affect on July 1, 2007, has stricter sanctions for those drivers who are arrested with a blood alcohol content of .150 or higher, which is nearly twice the legal limit of .08.

Under the new law, repeat offenders or highly intoxicated drivers who are arrested will have to surrender their motor vehicle registration, driver’s license and license plates to the arresting officer. The officer will then issue a temporary registration and plates until a review is conducted. The driver will not be eligible for a conditional driving permit.

There is a mandatory six-month revocation of the driver’s license and driving privileges. The maximum revocation is one year. The driver may also face 72 hours of community service, not less than 48 hours in jail, and a fine of $150 to $1,000 if convicted.

"Similar high blood alcohol content laws have been enacted in many other states due to the rise of highly intoxicated drivers throughout the nation," said Sergeant Dexter Veriato of the Police Department’s Traffic Services Section. 

Hawaii has one of highest alcohol-related fatality rates in the nation and the Big Island has the highest in the state.  "While the average for the state is about 45 percent, the Big Island’s alcohol fatality rate has averaged about 60 percent over the last two years," Veriato said. "Impaired driving is a big problem in our community. We need everyone’s help in saving lives."

Police will increase DUI roadblocks island-wide during the 4th of July holiday period and will also maintain roving patrols that will be out looking for impaired drivers.

The Hawaii Police Department urges everyone not to drink and drive and to have a safe and happy 4th of July.

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