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Honolulu DUI And Traffic Law Blog

The sub-0.08% DUI: It can happen to you

If you ask any police officer about the legal limit of 0.08% for blood alcohol concentration, they will tell you not to put too much emphasis on that limit. You can get a DUI even if you're under it.

This is, in fact, one of the more common misconceptions that people hold. They have seen it so many times in movies and TV shows: Someone gets pulled over, gets a breath test, and then gets arrested because their BAC is over 0.08%. It's easy to start thinking that all police really look for is that high reading or that you can't get arrested if you blow a 0.07% instead.

Understand the impact of a DUI in Oahu

Hawaii is extremely strict when it comes to DUIs, particularly in places like Oahu where there is tourism and a great deal of danger when a driver is drunk on the roads.

The police often employ unannounced checkpoints to catch drivers who are intoxicated and will take steps to get anyone who appears intoxicated off the roads.

Speeding? Excessive speeding can lead to harsh penalties

You may not have even been drinking or acting recklessly when you were pulled over, but if you were exceeding 30 mph over the limit or over 80 mph in total, you could face serious repercussions in Oahu. Hawaii has strict excessive speeding laws, and even first-time offenders face harsh penalties.

By law, a first-time offender faces fines of up to $1,000, may have their license suspended for 30 days and will have to go through mandatory driver's education. On top of that, they'll have to spend up to five days in prison or perform 36 hours of community service. Seem extreme? That's just what happens to those speeding excessively the first time. If you've had previous stops or have other charges in combination with the ticket, your penalties could be worse.

When could drivers face Hawaiian reckless driving charges?

Honolulu has some beautiful, scenic roads. It also has a lot of people who have to make it to work on time and plenty of tourists who aren't familiar with state driving laws. Both those who have lived in Hawaii for years and those who are only visiting could find themselves facing legal charges related to reckless driving after getting pulled over by law enforcement.

Understanding how Hawaii defines reckless driving and the potential penalties associated with such charges can help you avoid criminal charges, or at least develop a potentially effective defense strategy if you face reckless driving charges.

Are you too drunk to drive? Answering this question is important

If you decide to drink alcohol, it's imperative to closely monitor your intake. Doing so will go a long way in keeping you safe.

Unfortunately, the more you drink, the more difficult it becomes to make sound decisions. This can result in a variety of errors, such as getting behind the wheel in Hawaii when you should be calling for a ride.

Tips to follow if you’re pulled over for suspicion of DUI

If you have alcohol in your system, the last thing you want to see is police lights in your rearview mirror. This alone is enough to scare you straight, but the real fear is sure to set in once you pull to the side of the road.

Even if you've been drinking, it doesn't necessarily mean the officer will arrest you. Here are five important steps to take:

  • Stay in your vehicle: Once you pull over, stay in your vehicle and wait for the officer to arrive at your window. Also, keep your hands on the wheel and put your window down when the officer requests you to do so.
  • Remain polite: Forget about how the officer is treating you. It's important to remain polite at all times, even if you feel that you're being mistreated in some way.
  • You don't have to answer questions: You want to follow directions and remain respectful, but you don't want to say anything that could incriminate you. If you're not comfortable answering a particular question, ask for clarification or simply tell the officer that you don't want to speak.
  • Don't say too much: It's easy to fall into the trap of candidly telling the officer what you're up to. For example, you may say something like "I only had one drink a couple hours ago." This doesn't typically help, as the officer has heard every excuse and reason in the book. You're better off complying with basic questions, while avoiding sharing any unnecessary information.
  • Remain calm if you're put under arrest: It's not always easy to do, but fighting back will only make things worse. This can result in additional criminal charges, such as resisting arrest. At this point, the best thing you can do is remain calm, follow directions and keep quiet.

Failed a Breathalyzer test? You can challenge the results

Fighting drunk driving charges is rarely easy, but often worth the effort, especially if you have no other drunk driving convictions on your record. Of course, when you receive charges after failing a Breathalyzer test during a stop, it can feel as though you don't have any options. Thankfully, this is not entirely true.

With careful planning and patient attention to detail, it is usually possible to mount some form of defense against drunk driving charges. Even if you cannot avoid charges altogether, a strong defense may still help you reduce the charges and avoid unnecessarily harsh sentencing. No matter what you do, it is always better to build some defense than face drunk driving charges with no defense at all.

Avoid distracted driving to avoid trouble with the law

Go back in time 25 years and distracted driving wasn't nearly as big of a problem as it is today. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that technology, such as smartphones, has taken over the world.

Distracted driving is a bad idea for many reasons, including the fact that it greatly increases the risk of causing an accident. Furthermore, if a police officer sees you texting or dialing while driving, it could result in a serious penalty.

You have the power to fight a traffic ticket

As a driver, the last thing you want to see is police lights in your rearview mirror. If this happens, you know you're in trouble. As you pull to the side of the road, your legs will turn to jelly as your hands begin to sweat.

When discussing what went wrong with the officer, don't hesitate to answer their questions and provide any requested information (such as license, insurance and registration).

Do you know what to expect at a DUI checkpoint?

As you approach a DUI checkpoint, your hands may begin to sweat and your stomach could become upset. Even if you're 100 percent sober, there's something scary about coming face to face with a police officer at a checkpoint.

Knowing what to expect at a DUI checkpoint can go a long way in helping you avoid an arrest. Here are three things to consider.

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