Hawaii Alcohol Laws
Where to Buy Alcohol
Beer, wine, and spirits are available for purchase in private retail stores as well as grocery stores and convenience stores, usually until 11 p.m. Bars and restaurants stop serving alcohol at 2 a.m., but some hold a special ‘cabaret license’ that allows them to continue serving alcohol until 4 a.m.
Legal Age for Drinking/Serving Alcohol
While you must be 21 years of age to consume alcohol, at the age of 18 a person can serve in a restaurant that sells alcoholic drinks or as a bartender, as well as handling or selling alcohol in a retail package store as long as a supervisor is always present.
Open Container Laws
Neither passengers nor the driver in a vehicle may consume alcohol. Previously opened bottles of alcoholic beverages should be carried in the trunk of the car.
A blood-alcohol content (BAC) percentage over .08 percent means that a driver is considered to be ‘per se intoxicated’ and can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) based on this evidence alone.
To discourage underage drinking and driving, drivers under the age of 21 who are BAC tested at .02 percent or above will incur DUI penalties.
Drivers refusing chemical testing and drivers with a BAC of .15 percent above the legal limit of .08 percent will suffer harsher penalties.
Drivers suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) must comply with a police officer’s request for breath, blood, or urine testing for intoxication under ‘implied consent laws.’ Refusal to cooperate may result in driver’s license suspension for up to a year.
DUI conviction can incur the penalty of license suspension by the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) for three months for the first DUI, one year for the second offense, and five years for the third offense.
In Hawaii, a driver’s vehicle cannot be confiscated as a punishment for DUI, but attachment of an ignition interlock device is a possibility as is alcohol education, treatment, and/or assessment.
DUI moves from a misdemeanor charge to a felony charge after the fourth conviction in ten years.