Whether you live in Hawaii full-time or were just visiting when a police officer pulled you over in a traffic stop, the implications of that event may be both immediate and far-reaching into the future. Perhaps the police officer approached your window and, after requesting to see your driver’s license and vehicle registration, asked you to exit your vehicle.
This is usually a clear sign that the officer suspects DUI and is going to try to determine probable cause to make an arrest. Establishing probable cause might include a request for you to take a preliminary breath test or field sobriety test. If you wind up in police custody for suspected DUI and incur a driver’s license suspension, you might worry about how it will affect many aspects of your life.
Will a license suspension affect my car insurance in any way?
This is one of the first questions you might ask if you learn of the suspension of your driver’s license in connection with a DUI arrest. The answer to the question is, “Yes,” a DUI-related license suspension can affect your auto insurance. When it comes time to renew your policy, your insurance agency will typically look at your driving record, and a license suspension will show up.
It’s possible that your insurance rates may increase substantially if there is a license suspension or DUI on your driving record. Depending on which agency holds your policy, an increased premium could be several thousand dollars per year.
Am I still allowed to drive to work if I have a DUI charge?
Being arrested for DUI can cause otherwise usual activities to become a big hassle. For instance, if the court suspends your license, how will you get to work, go grocery shopping or pick up your kids from practice, if you’re a parent? In certain circumstances, you may be able to request a hardship license.
If you’re eligible for a hardship license, it means that your license would still face suspension with restrictions. Such restrictions would allow you to commute to and from work and go to medical appointments or other specific places. In Hawaii, you must surrender your driver’s license to the arresting officer if he or she takes you into custody for suspected DUI, which means the court would immediately not allow you to drive, even if you post bail.
Can I drive with a hardship license if the insurance company cancels my insurance?
In Hawaii and all other states, you must have current insurance in order to take your car on the road. It’s possible that your insurance agency will offer you a policy under a hardship license, but it’s also possible that they won’t, in which case you’d need to find a company that will before you drive.
If you drive your car without insurance, even if a hardship license gives you permission to drive, the court may permanently revoke your license. You would no longer have a hardship license. There are also rules about how much time must pass after a license suspension before you can apply for a hardship license.
Make sure you follow the rules to help mitigate circumstances in a DUI arrest
Getting behind the wheel with a suspended license will no doubt make your situation worse. If an officer has arrested you for DUI, it’s important to make sure you understand the implications of your arrest, especially regarding your driver’s license, insurance and other issues.
You shouldn’t hesitate to reach out for legal support because it is a means for seeking clarification of DUI laws, as well as obtaining guidance when determining how to build a strong defense to help achieve the most positive outcome possible.