1st offense DUI

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1st offense DUI

I’ve never been in any trouble before and got a DUI recently. I’m really nervous and I’m not sure how to plea for this case.

Asked on May 11, 2009 under Criminal Law, Hawaii

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Hawaii DUI arrests trigger two separate cases: the Hawaii DUI court case, and the Hawaii DUI driver’s license case.

Hawaii DUI laws call for a DUI prosecution in District Court, as well as a driver’s license suspension from the Administrative Driver’s License Revocation Office.  It is the Administrative Driver’s License Revocation Office that seeks to take immediate action against your driver’s license.

Hawaii DUI laws allow for criminal court prosecutions on one of two theories: either that the person is impaired for purposes of driving, OR that the person violated Hawaii DUI laws by driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) 0f .08% or higher. The latter is called Hawaii’s "per se" law, and most states have a similar DUI law.

Hawaii DUI convictions for first offenders include the following punishments:
  1. A fourteen-hour minimum substance abuse rehabilitation program, including education and counseling, or other comparable program deemed appropriate by the court;
  2. Ninety-day prompt suspension of license and privilege to operate a vehicle during the suspension period, or the court may impose, in lieu of the ninety-day prompt suspension of license, a minimum thirty-day prompt suspension of license with absolute prohibition from operating a vehicle and, for the remainder of the ninety-day period, a restriction on the license that allows the person to drive for limited work-related purposes and to participate in substance abuse treatment programs;
  3. Any one or more of the following:
    • Seventy-two hours of community service work;
    • Not less than forty-eight hours and not more than five days of imprisonment; or
    • A fine of not less than $150 but not more than $1,000; and
  4. A surcharge of $25 to be deposited into the neurotrauma special fund.

This information also does not take into account various statutory enhancements, such as being DUI with children in the car, DUI with a blood alcohol level of .20 or higher, DUI while driving recklessly, and others.

You are a first time offender which will help you.  But as you can see there are serious conseuqences to a DUI conviction.  This is a very specialized area of law and you sould be represented by counsel.  Preferably an attorney who specializes in this.

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I am a lawyer in CT, not HI but i practice criminal defense.  You should take this matter seriously as you may be able to avoid having a criminal record.  In most states there are programs that are available for first time offenders that may result in the charges being dismissed.  I am not sure whether your state has a similar type of program but you need to contact a local lawyer near the court to find out your options.  Your license may also be suspended.  However, you may be able to get a work driver's permit so that you can get to and from work.  Get a lawyer.  Do not try to go at this alone.  While it may cost a few hundred bucks, this is your future we are talking about and it could affect your ability to get a job or into school.  Good luck!


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