Hawaii Considering Dropping Legal Drunk Driving Limit To 0.05

legal drunk driving limit hawaiiIt’s hard to believe, but it really hasn’t been that long since all states adopted a .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). It’s now the legal drunk driving limit after which you can be arrested for drunk driving in all states, but it’s only been that way since 1998. Before the overall adoption of 0.08, each state varied in what their legal BAC level was.

Fast forward to present day and there’s another battle over BAC that’s building momentum: the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been pushing all states to adopt a 0.05 legal drunk driving limit, and it looks like Hawaii might be getting on board.

Hawaii would like to toughen up their drunk driving laws by putting forward Senate Bill 18, requiring Hawaii to drop their legal limit from 0.08 to 0.05. The bill has been put forward by Senator Josh Green, a Senator who’s also a doctor who believes that lowering the BAC will make a huge difference when it comes to drunk driving.

Quoted on Khon2 News as saying, “At 0.05, you’re 50 percent less likely to cause an accident, less likely to hurt yourself, to kill an innocent person on the road,” Green believes Hawaii should take the NTSB’s recommendation seriously. If they did, they would follow the lead of countries like Europe who already have 0.05 as their legal drunk driving limit.

Not everyone in Hawaii is on board with the proposed bill. A defense attorney quoted by the same news source thought that lowering the BAC would cause a backlog in the court system, and that police should focus on those that are seriously intoxicated instead of apprehending those with a low BAC.

Will Hawaii be the first to jump on board and lower the legal drunk driving limit in the state? If countries like Europe are any indication, it’s an idea that could drop the amount of drunk drivers on the roads in Hawaii in a significant way.

New Hawaii Ignition Interlock Law: Don’t Leave Home Without A Permit


January 1st is a great time to make a change, and Hawaii ignition interlock permit holders are about to see some changes in the way they need to manage their affairs, thanks to a new law.

Act 40 went into effect January 1st, 2016. The law requires all ignition interlock permit holders to have their permit and a a State of Hawaii identification card with them at all times whenever they drive their ignition interlock equipped vehicle.

The new law makes it clear that having your permit and the ID with you is not optional. Anyone who violates Act 40 will receive these stiff penalties:

First time offenders

If a first time offender is caught driving without his ignition interlock permit and identification card, he or she will receive 3 days to 30 days in prison, fines up to $1,000, loss of their drivers license for an extra year, and the loss of their privilege to drive with an ignition interlock.

If you’ve offended within 5 years of a prior conviction

Anyone who has offended an additional time within 5 years of a first offense will receive 30 days in prison, fines up to $1,000, and loss of their drivers license for an extra 2 years. Moreover, they won’t be able to drive a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock.

If you’ve offended within 5 years of 2 or more convictions

Anyone who violates Act 40 will receive one year in prison, fines up to $2,000, permanent loss of his or her drivers license, and will never be able to drive with an ignition interlock.

To find out where to obtain your State of Hawaii identification card, check the HDOT website. Remember to bring the proper documents with you. That information is also available at the site.

Clearly, the Department of Transportation wants Hawaii ignition interlock permit holders to get serious about keeping their ID and permit with them. In too many states, DUI offenders slip through the cracks and evade the system. Hawaii has taken this step as a way to better enforce their ignition interlock program. Remembering those documents is a small price to pay to stay on the road.

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