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
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
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.