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1/2/2007
Hawaii: Mandatory Jail Time for Driving 20 MPH Over Speed Limit
Drivers in Hawaii face mandatory jail time for traveling just 20 MPH over the limit. The new law will generate up to $6 million in annual revenue.

Hawaii Police
Hawaii motorists pulled over for driving just 20 MPH over the limit on a freeway as of yesterday faced penalties that include a mandatory 10 day jail sentence and fines up to $1025. According to state survey of citations issued last year, about one in ten -- 5,483 -- would fall victim to the new statute, generating up to $5,757,150 in revenue.

The "excessive speed" law applies to those driving 80 MPH on a freeway or 30 MPH over on other streets. Hawaii has the lowest maximum speed limit in the country, with all other states posting at least one road at 65 MPH. First time offenders face fines between $525 and $1025, an immediate 30-day license suspension without due process, mandatory driver training at additional cost, and a minimum of 48 hours in jail or 36 hours of community service.

A third offense within five years brings mandatory fines of $1025, a minimum 90-day license revocation, a mandatory ten days in jail (with a maximum of 30 days possible) plus driver training.

Article Excerpt:
Full text of the new law:

Sec. 291C-105 Excessive speeding. (a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at a speed exceeding:

(1) The applicable state or county speed limit by thirty miles per hour or more; or

(2) Eighty miles per hour or more irrespective of the applicable state or county speed limit.

(b) For the purposes of this section, "the applicable state or county speed limit" means:

(1) The maximum speed limit established by county ordinance;

(2) The maximum speed limit established by official signs placed by the director of transportation on highways under the director's jurisdiction; or

(3) The maximum speed limit established pursuant to section 291C-104 by the director of transportation or the counties for school zones and construction areas in their respective jurisdictions.

(c) Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a petty misdemeanor and shall be sentenced as follows without the possibility of probation or suspension of sentence:

(1) For a first offense not preceded by a prior conviction for an offense under this section in the preceding five years:

(A) A fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1,000;

(B) Thirty-day prompt suspension of license and privilege to operate a vehicle during the suspension period, or the court may impose, in lieu of the thirty-day prompt suspension of license, a minimum fifteen-day prompt suspension of license with absolute prohibition from operating a vehicle and, for the remainder of the thirty-day period, a restriction on the license that allows the person to drive for limited work‑related purposes;

(C) Attendance in a course of instruction in driver retraining;

(D) A surcharge of $25 to be deposited into the neurotrauma special fund;

(E) An assessment for driver education pursuant to section 286G-3; and

(F) Either one of the following:

(i) Thirty-six hours of community service work; or

(ii) Not less than forty-eight hours and not more than five days of imprisonment;

(2) For an offense that occurs within five years of a prior conviction for an offense under this section, by:

(A) A fine of not less than $750 and not more than $1,000;

(B) Prompt suspension of license and privilege to operate a vehicle for a period of thirty days with an absolute prohibition from operating a vehicle during the suspension period;

(C) Attendance in a course of instruction in driver retraining;

(D) A surcharge of $25 to be deposited into the neurotrauma special fund;

(E) An assessment for driver education pursuant to section 286G-3; and

(F) Either one of the following:

(i) Not less than one hundred twenty hours of community service work; or

(ii) Not less than five days but not more than fourteen days of imprisonment of which at least forty-eight hours shall be served consecutively; and

(3) For an offense that occurs within five years of two prior convictions for offenses under this section, by:

(A) A fine of $1,000;

(B) Revocation of license and privilege to operate a vehicle for a period of not less than ninety days but not more than one year;

(C) Attendance in a course of instruction in driver retraining;

(D) No fewer than ten days but no more than thirty days of imprisonment of which at least forty‑eight hours shall be served consecutively;

(E) A surcharge of $25 to be deposited into the neurotrauma special fund; and

(F) An assessment for driver education pursuant to section 286G-3. [L 2006, c 129, 1]


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