In Hawaii, the officers will try to establish that you are impaired using so-called sobriety tests. These involve the officer looking at your eyes while you follow an object, having you walk heel to toe and balance on one leg. They will either try to cajole you into performing them or coerce you into performing them. Do not let the officer do any of the tests on you. If the officer does his job properly, he will ask you some medical questions first. Do not answer those questions. In fact don’t answer any questions at all. Even if you feel you are perfectly sober, do not agree to do the tests. They are designed for failure. If you do not do them exactly right, you will give the officer enough to arrest and charge you. With regard to the breathalyzer, at the police station, the state of Hawaii has created an odd situation. You have the right to refuse to provide a chemical sample when arrested for DUI, generally. If you choose to refuse there is, no longer, a crime associated with the act of refusal. There is however a longer driver license revocation period associated with the act of refusing. There are a number of details, that cannot be adequately addressed here, that pertain to the act of refusing to provide a chemical test at the station. I cannot give advice on this particular aspect because the facts of every case are different.
The Contributor is Kevin O’Grady esquire. Kevin O’Grady practices in Honolulu, Hawaii, has been in practice since 1997, is a former prosecutor, a member of the National College for DUI Defense, the NACDL, and HACDL and he is a Major in the U.S. Army reserve as a Judge Advocate. His practice is 90% DUI and traffic related. He focuses on DUI, criminal defense, and Courts-Martial. He can be reached at 1-800-DUI-CASE, 808-521-3367, WWW.CriminalAndMilitaryDefenseHawaii.Com, or Paralegal1@CriminalAndMilitaryDefenseHawaii.Com