Seeking to address drinking and driving, the Honolulu police department announced that police will set up drunk driving checkpoints during the upcoming holiday season. The DUI (driving under the influence) checkpoints, which began in late October, will be at unannounced times and locations and continue through the end of 2013.
According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, the Honolulu police department set up the program to deter drunk driving – which has been responsible for 15 of the 49 traffic fatalities so far this year on Oahu. However, while drunk driving can be preventable to a certain degree, the truth of the matter is that checkpoints won’t catch all intoxicated drivers. Drunk driving accidents happen. When they do, the results can very serious – and often fatal.
In Hawaii, drivers are considered intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, which will result in a DUI arrest. Police also have discretion to arrest people who have blood alcohol concentrations of 0.05% to 0.08% and charge them with driving under the influence.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a drunk driver, the criminal DUI charges case will be processed through Hawaii’s criminal justice system, and drivers found guilty will face penalties including fines, possible license suspension, loss of vehicle and jail time. The process can be exhaustive, and our experience shows that victims often feel overwhelmed.
However, it’s important to understand that the criminal conviction of a drunk driver will not help cover the medical bills or other expenses of victims. You will need to file a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit in civil court to seek compensation.