Alcohol addiction in Hawaii is a major issue that has steadily grown worse on the island; this further increases the need for quality alcohol rehab options to be more readily available there. Various alcohol rehabilitation approaches are available in Hawaii, but the process of choosing a quality alcohol rehabilitation option can be challenging, as there are so many types of treatment , such as inpatient or outpatient, and long term and short term, just to name a few. A sense of urgency is necessary when an individual from Hawaii has been diagnosed with an alcohol addiction; it is at this point that an alcohol treatment plan should be securely put into place before the person has a chance to change their mind about receiving alcohol rehabilitation. A counselor at a quality Hawaii alcohol rehab center can help to develop an immediate plan of action regarding quality alcohol treatment.

In a Hawaii outpatient alcohol rehab program, the individual that is being treated for an alcohol addiction will visit the rehabilitation center at various intervals for a specific number of hours. It is important to note that very few individuals from Hawaii with a moderate to severe alcohol addiction can fully benefit long term from such a limited amount of alcohol treatment. In a residential alcohol rehabilitation facility, the individual from Hawaii will reside at the alcohol treatment center; with this intense level of care, the person will have access to around the clock professional support.

An alcohol rehab center generally will begin with detoxification (the process of safely getting alcohol out of your system); after completing detox, the alcohol rehab staff will begin to administer other components of treatment, including individual or group counseling, as well as skills and training courses to help prepare the individual for returning to Hawaii to be able successfully live an alcohol-free lifestyle.


Hawaii alcohol related information and statistics are provided by the US Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Conference of State Legislatures, 2004. In Hawaii, the alcohol related deaths have declined by over 50% since 1982, from a high that same year of 103, to a low of 44 in 1999. Recent years, however, have shown a moderate increase. The percentage of drunk driving deaths of the total traffic fatalities has shown a steady decline from a high in 1983 of 67%. In 2006, out of all traffic fatalities, 40% involved a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.

All 50 states in the US now apply two statutory offenses to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The first (and original) offense is known either as driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated/impaired (DWI), or operating while intoxicated/impaired (OWI). This is based upon a Hawaii police officer's observations (driving behavior, slurred speech, the results of a roadside sobriety test, etc.) The second offense is called "illegal per se", which is driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Since 2002 it has been illegal in all 50 states to drive with a BAC that is 0.08% or higher.

The table below shows the total number of traffic fatalities (Tot) for the Hawaii, alcohol related fatalities (Alc-Rel) and fatalities in crashes where the highest BAC in the crash was 0.08 or above (0.08+). It is important to note that the Hawaii drunk driving statistics, as shown below, include data from individuals in Hawaii who were in an alcohol-related crash, but not driving a motor vehicle at the time. The U.S. Department of Transportation defines alcohol-related deaths as "fatalities that occur in crashes where at least one driver or non-occupant (pedestrian or bicyclist) involved in the crash has a positive Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) value."

Year

Fatalities

Tot

Alc-Rel

%

0.08+

%

1982

163

103

63

94

58

1983

141

95

67

88

62

1984

138

89

65

80

58

1985

126

80

63

69

55

1986

120

70

58

58

49

1987

139

86

62

77

55

1988

148

87

59

78

53

1989

149

91

61

76

51

1990

177

92

52

73

41

1991

135

77

57

69

51

1992

129

68

53

62

48

1993

134

76

57

60

45

1994

122

60

49

51

42

1995

130

65

50

47

36

1996

148

68

46

52

35

1997

131

59

45

51

39

1998

120

59

49

47

39

1999

98

44

45

34

35

2000

132

55

42

44

33

2001

140

59

42

50

36

2002

119

47

39

39

33

2003

135

72

53

54

40

2004

142

65

46

52

37

2005

140

71

51

58

42

2006

160

77

48

63

40

2007

138

66

47

45

32

2008

107

50

46

42

39

When is a driver considered to be legally drunk in Hawaii?

  • Non-commercial drivers age 21+ in Hawaii are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 or more.
  • Drivers of commercial vehicles in Hawaii are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .04 percent or greater. Under Hawaii law, school bus drivers are commercial drivers.
  • It is unlawful for a person under 21 in Hawaii to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol.

Penalties for Drunk Driving in Hawaii

  • A first-time DUI offender in Hawaii will be sentenced to one or more of the following: a term of imprisonment of not less than 48 hours and not more than five days; a fine ranging from $150 to $1,000; and/or 72 hours of community service work. In addition, first-time offenders must complete a 14-hour minimum Hawaii substance abuse rehabilitation program. They will also have to pay a $25 surcharge to be deposited into the neurotrauma special fund. The driver's license suspension period is 90 days.
  • A person in Hawaii who commits a second offense within five years of the first offense will be sentenced to either five to 14 days in prison or at least 42 hours of community service work. Additionally, the offender will be fined between $500 and $1,500. The offender will also have to pay a $25 surcharge to be deposited in the neurotrauma special fund. The driver's license suspension period is one year.
  • A person in Hawaii who commits a third offense within five years of the two prior convictions will be sentenced to 10 to 30 days in prison and will be fined between $500 and $2,500. The driver's license revocation period is one to five years. In addition, the offender's vehicle will be subject to forfeiture.
  • A person in Hawaii who commits a fourth offense within 10 years is considered a "habitual operator of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol." Habitual offenders in Hawaii face up to five years in prison or a five-year term of probation. If a judge orders probation, the offender's driver's license will be revoked for one to five years. The offender's vehicle will be subject to forfeiture. The offender will also be referred to a certified Hawaii substance abuse counselor and be required to pay a $25 surcharge to be deposited in the neurotrauma special fund.
  • All persons convicted to DUI in Hawaii will be referred to a driver's education program for assessment by a certified substance abuse counselor of the offender's substance abuse or dependence and the need for appropriate treatment.

Additional Penalties in Hawaii for Drunk Drivers Carrying Passengers Under 15

If a person 18 or older in Hawaii is convicted of DUI while a person under 15 was in the vehicle, the Hawaii offender will be sentenced to an additional mandatory term of imprisonment of 48 hours and will be required to pay an additional mandatory fine of $500.

Penalties in Hawaii for Commercial Drivers

In addition to other penalties associated with Hawaii's DUI laws, a commercial driver who is convicted of DUI while operating any vehicle will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for at least one year. If, however, the offender was driving a commercial vehicle and transporting hazardous materials at the time, he or she will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for at least three years. If a commercial driver commits a second DUI while driving any vehicle, the offender will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for life.

Drivers Under 21

A person under 21 in Hawaii who is convicted of driving with any measurable amount of alcohol will be sentenced as follows:

  • For a first violation, the underage offender must attend a Hawaii alcohol abuse education and counseling program for up to 10 hours. If the offender is under 18, the child's parent or guardian must also attend. The driver's license suspension period is 180 days. If the offender is under 18, the suspension is absolute. If the offender in Hawaii is over 18, a judge may order a 30-day absolute suspension, followed by a 150-day license restriction that allows the minor to drive for limited work-related purposes and to participate in a Hawaii alcohol abuse education and treatment program. The judge may also impose up to 36 hours of community service work or a fine ranging between $50 and $500.
  • For a second violation in Hawaii that occurs within five years of the first, the driver's license suspension period is one year. The judge may also impose up to 50 hours of community service work or a fine ranging from $300 to $1,000.
  • For a third violation in Hawaii that occurs within five years of the previous violations, the driver's license revocation period is two years. The judge may also impose up to 100 hours of community service work or a fine between $300 and $1,000.

What is Hawaii's Liquor Control Statute?

This statute imposes a duty on Hawaii tavern keepers to refrain from serving alcohol to minors and to intoxicated persons. This statute allows a person injured by a tavern customer as a result of intoxication to recover money damages from the tavern in Hawaii that provided the liquor to the minor or to the intoxicated person.

Criminal Penalties in Hawaii for Promoting Liquor to a Minor

Under Hawaii law, it is a petty misdemeanor for a person, including a licensed Hawaiidrinking establishment, to sell or give alcohol to anyone under 21. A violation of this law subjects the offender to a term of imprisonment of up to 30 days.

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  • Facts
  • Currently, more than 25 brands of CHIs (Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages) are sold in a variety of U.S. retail alcohol outlets, including many convenience stores.
  • Alcohol dependence has no one single cause and is not directly passed from one generation to another genetically. Rather, it is the result of a complex group of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors.
  • The latest research on "genomics" is indicating the interplay of several genes may affect the risk factor of developing alcoholism. Some of these gene sequences enhance the risk of becoming alcohol dependent, while other sequences will only somewhat enhance the risk.
  • Blood Alcohol Level of .25%: All mental, physical, and sensory functions are severely impaired. You're emotionally numb. There's an increased risk of asphyxiation from choking on vomit and of seriously injuring yourself by falling or other accidents.