Hawaii Minor in Possession of Alcohol Charges and Penalties

Hawaii has minor in possession (MIP) laws to prevent underage drinking. You must be at least 21 years to consume or possess alcohol in Hawaii. However, people who are age 18 are allowed to serve alcoholic beverages in a licensed establishment. Anyone working in a store can handle alcohol so long as a supervisor over 21 is present.

Minors Drinking and Possessing Alcohol or Using a Fake ID

People under the age of 21 are prohibited from consuming or possession alcohol in any public place, including at public amusements, public gatherings, beaches, parks, on public highways, or in a motor vehicle. It is illegal for any minor to use a fake id or the identification of another person in an attempt to purchase liquor or to obtain employment to serve or sell liquor in a licensed establishment.

The exceptions to this law include the following:

  • Possession and/or custody of alcohol by a minor who is employed to legally deliver liquor during the normal course of their job duties.
  • Minors can possess or consume alcohol during participation in an authorized religious ceremony.
  • People between the ages of 18 and 20 who are participating in a controlled purchase in conjunction with a law enforcement activity or engaged in an authorized study by the Department of Health.

Anyone under the age of 18 who violates this law will be subject to the family court jurisdiction. In addition, the court may suspend your eligibility to obtain a license, or suspend your instruction permit, provisional license, or driver’s license.

People between the ages of 18 and 20 who violate this law will be charged with a petty misdemeanor. The penalties include:

Licensed Drivers—Your driver’s license will be suspended for not less than 180 days. At the discretion of the court, you may be allowed to drive to and from your place of employment, school, or school-sponsored activities.

Provisional License Holders—Your provisional license will be suspended for not less than 180 days. At the discretion of the court, you may be allowed to drive to and from your place of employment, school, or school-sponsored activities.

Instruction Permit Holders—Your instruction permit will be suspended for not less than 180 days. At the discretion of the court, you may be allowed to drive to and from your place of employment, school, or school-sponsored activities.

Not Licensed to Drive Yet—If you are not yet licensed to drive, your eligibility to obtain an instruction permit, provisional license, or driver’s licensed will be suspended for 180 days at the discretion of the court. In addition to the above penalties, violators will be sentenced to the following:

  • You will be ordered to perform 75 hours of community service.
  • You will be required to complete and 8-12 hour alcohol educational program at your own expense or at the expense of your parent or guardian.

Hawaii Revised Statute § 281-101.5

Hawaii Zero Tolerance For Minors

In an effort to discourage minors from drinking and driving, the State of Hawaii has passed zero tolerance laws. Anyone under the age of 21 caught driving with a measurable amount of alcohol in their system will be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). The penalties include:

First Violation With No Prior Convictions Within Five Years

  • If under age 18, the person’s parent or legal guardian will be required to attend an alcohol abuse educational program.
  • If you are under 18, your driver’s license will be suspended for180 days. The court may impose a minimum 30-day driver’s license suspension for people age 18 and older. The driver will be prohibited from operating a motor vehicle for the remainder of the 180-day period. A restricted license may be granted for employment purposes and participation in an alcohol treatment program.

First Violation With Prior Conviction Within Five Years

  • Your driver’s license will be suspended for oen yeas.
  • You may be required to perform not more than 50 hours of community service.
  • You may be fined not less than $300 and not more than $1,000.

Second Violation With Two Prior Convictions Within Five Years

  • Your driver’s license will be revoked for two years.
  • You may be required to perform not more than 100 hours of community service.
  • You may be fined not less than $300 and not more than $1,000.
  • The court may order you to reimburse the county for the cost of any blood tests conducted.

Hawaii Revised Statute § 291E-64

Adults Purchasing or Providing Alcohol to Minors

It is unlawful for any adult to provide or purchase liquor for consumption by minors under the age of 21. The law also prohibits any person from allowing a minor to consume or possess alcohol on property under their control. Anyone who violates this law will be guilty of a misdemeanor offense.

Hawaii Revised Statute § 281-101.5, Hawaii Revised Statute § 712-1250.5

To learn more about the MIP laws, read the Chapter 281 (Intoxicating Liquor) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes. If you are facing MIP charges in Hawaii, contact a criminal defense lawyer for legal help.

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