If you are arrested for DUI, DWI, OVUII (i.e., drunk driving) in Hawaii or for driving while your driver's license is suspended or revoked, you need to act swiftly if you hope to avoid serious consequences, especially if you have a previous DUI conviction or administrative driver's license revocation or suspension in any U.S. state, territory, or Canada. In Hawaii, you face the following two separate and related proceedings if your arrest is for DUI:
- An administrative driver's license revocation proceeding: you will be mailed a notice from the Administrative Driver's License Revocation Office (ADLRO) informing you that you have six days from the date the notice was mailed to you to request a hearing. It costs $30 to have a hearing. If you do nothing thereafter, you will probably automatically lose your driver's license or driving privileges in Hawaii. Even if you have an out of state license, you will probably lose that license. Attached are information sheets from the ADLRO.
- A criminal prosecution: if convicted, this conviction is on your record forever, and if you are in the military, you may face separate punishment by your command. You will also have to pay fines and fees and attend a fourteen-hour substance abuse program.
These two proceedings have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. The administrative proceeding usually precedes the criminal proceeding. You may win one, but if you lose the other you will have a prior DUI on your record. In the criminal case, you must go to court. In the administrative proceeding, you lose by doing nothing. If you lose in the administrative proceeding, there can still be a criminal conviction. If you lose either or both proceedings, your driver's license will be revoked (not merely suspended) for a minimum of one year and a maximum of ten years depending on your driving record. There are special provisions where a driver's license is needed for work, but only if your employer will certify such a need. You may be permitted to drive during a revocation period if you install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle at your own expense. Such a device is not cheap and you must pay for its installation and maintenance. To get your driver's license back without restriction, you must drive with an ignition device on your vehicle for five years and then reapply as if you never had a license. If you are convicted for driving on a revoked driver's license because of a prior DUI conviction or administrative revocation, you will spend time in jail.
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