Drunk Driving Accidents in Hawaii

Representation for Victims of Drunk & Distracted Driving Accidents

Drunk driving accidents are a serious problem in Hawaii. Many people who drink alcohol over-imbibe then get behind the wheel of their vehicles and end up causing accidents. In many cases, the drunk drivers cause serious or fatal injuries to other people. You only need to look at Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) statistics to see the danger of drinking and driving. According to the DOH, 40 percent of the drivers killed in car crashes in our state over a recent five-year period tested positive for alcohol. Of those drivers, 89 percent had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher and were legally intoxicated at the time of the wreck.

Leavitt Yamane & Soldner represents people who have been injured by drunk drivers in Hawaii. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a drunk driving accident, our drunk driving accident lawyers will put our many years of legal experience to work for you, so you get the full compensation that you are due.

Schedule a complimentary consultation online or call (808) 518-2120.

How is Drunk Driving Defined? Our Honolulu Personal Injury Lawyers Explain.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says drivers are considered to be alcohol-impaired when their BACs are .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher - usually cited as .08 percent BAC. In Hawaii, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. According to data from the NHTSA, 31 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the country were alcohol-related. This number was much higher in Hawaii.

The NHTSA says of 102 traffic deaths in Hawaii in 2013, 45 drivers (44 percent) had some alcohol in their system. Of those who had been drinking, a third had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit. One in five drunk drivers had a BAC of 0.15 or higher - the level of which a driver is categorized as an extremely drunk driver and is subject to enhanced penalties.

Hawaii's Criminal Penalties for Drunk Driving

According to Hawaii law, the actual crime of driving drunk (with a 0.08 percent BAC or more) is known as "operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant." It is actually stricter than simply applying a 0.08 percent BAC restriction.

In addition to that standard, the law (§291E-61) says a person is in violation if they control a vehicle:

  • "While under the influence of alcohol in an amount sufficient to impair the person's normal mental faculties or ability to care for the person and guard against casualty; and
  • "While under the influence of any drug that impairs the person's ability to operate the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner."

Upon a first-time conviction, the drunk driver may face:

  • One-year suspension of their driver's license and the installation of an ignition interlock device on their vehicle(s).
  • Seventy two hours of community service or at least 48 hours and up to 5 days in jail, or a fine of $150 to $1,000, or any combination of the three (plus court costs).
  • A requirement to complete a 14-hour substance abuse rehabilitation program.

Additional DUI convictions within a five-year period bring a longer driver's license revocation, more jail time, and higher fines. A person who is 18 years old or older and convicted of drunk driving with a passenger in their vehicle who was 15 years old or younger faces an additional $500 fine and could be jailed for an additional 48 hours.

You may notice that the criminal penalties do not make any provision for the innocent driver, passenger, bicyclist, or pedestrian who is injured by a drunk driver. If you are to obtain financial compensation for the losses you have incurred because of a drunk driver, you have the option of filing a separate civil lawsuit.

Leavitt Yamane & Soldner assists people injured in drunk driving accidents in Hawaii in obtaining compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other losses sustained in a drunk driving accident.

How Can We Help You After a Drunk Driving Accident?

After a car accident, you turn to your car insurance for compensation to repair your vehicle and pay medical bills. If the accident was the other driver's fault, you seek compensation through the other driver's auto liability insurance.

Because Hawaii is a no-fault state, your car insurance carrier is expected to pay for your injuries and your passengers' injuries up to the limits of your policy's Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. Because "no-fault" applies to injuries, not to vehicles or property, the at-fault driver's insurance is responsible for damages to your vehicle. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM), the coverage protects you in the event that the other driver does not have enough insurance to compensate you for your injuries.

In addition to your PIP insurance, personal injury law allows an injured person to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for losses if:

  • The cost of the injuries exceed PIP limits
  • The injuries include significant permanent loss of use of a body part or function
  • The claimant has suffered permanent and serious disfigurement resulting in mental or emotional distress.

Such a claim can be a long process that is draining, confusing, and disheartening if you try to do it by yourself. Without a knowledgeable drunk driving accident attorney, a victim can feel overwhelmed by the weight of the entire process.

Contact Leavitt Yamane & Soldner for Comprehensive Legal Representation

Our Honolulu car accident attorneys of Leavitt Yamane & Soldner can conduct the investigation required for a solid personal injury claim after a drunk driving accident. Our lawyers and staff will gather all the vital information - from physical evidence, to expert opinions, to tracking down responsible parties. No detail is too small in a drunk driving accident. On behalf of our clients, we battle insurance companies in negotiations or in court to ensure they do what's right. Our appearance as your attorney will change the dynamics of your drunk driving accident claim. The insurance companies will know they can't push you around or try to coerce you to accept a settlement that is not in your best interests.

If you have been a victim in an alcohol-related accident, turn to a Hawaii attorney who is qualified, experienced, and supportive to advocate on your behalf so you can focus on your recovery. Leavitt Yamane & Soldner can help you recover compensation for medical expenses, property damage, current and future lost wages, your pain and suffering, and more after a drunk driving accident.

To learn more, please get in touch with us without delay.

Our Professionals Are Here to Listen

If you have sustained an injury and want to know if you are eligible to pursue legal action, it is important to obtain help right away. Call our firm at (808) 518-2120 or fill out the quick form below.

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