Underage drinkers risk losing driving privileges
I thought I heard on the radio recently that if a person under the age of 21 is caught drinking alcohol, even if they are not driving, then their license will be suspended until they are 21 years old. Did I hear that correctly?
Answer: You did, up until you said "until they are 21 years old."
The state's "use and lose" law took effect Jan. 1, 2007, aimed at curbing underage drinking and drunken driving.
Among other things, Section 281-101.5 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes was amended to say that any person under 21 caught illegally purchasing, possessing or consuming alcohol shall have his/her driver's license suspended; or, if they do not yet have a license, the ability to get a license shall be suspended for a period of time determined by the court.
For licensed drivers or those with a provisional license or instruction permit, the penalty is a minimum 180-day suspension, with possible exceptions, such as driving to and from school or work.
For persons not licensed to drive, eligibility to obtain a driver's license, provisional license or instruction permit is suspended until the age of 17 or for 180 days, at the court's discretion.
Additionally, anyone, licensed or not, found guilty of underage drinking faces 75 hours of community service, plus eight to 12 hours of alcohol education and counseling.
Thirty-six other states have some form of a "use and lose" law, according to the Lingle administration, which pushed for the law.
Meanwhile, April was proclaimed "Alcohol Awareness Month" in Hawaii.
Q: Can police ticket a car parked in a pathway at Waimalu Shopping Plaza (or any shopping mall parking area)? We did not see any security guard or parking attendant to resolve our situation. At 11:55 a.m. Saturday, April 19, a white Toyota was parked in the pathway between the handicapped stalls. We chose to park there, so that the door to our vehicle can open freely into that area, enabling easier access for the two disabled riders who were with us that day. Auwe to the driver of the Toyota, who made it difficult for them to get in. You should not have parked there. Next time, have more consideration for others. Not only did you inconvenience us, but also the car waiting for our stall.
A: Sounds like you're talking about the access aisle that's meant to provide room for a disabled person to enter or exit a vehicle parked in a disabled parking space. In that case, yes, police can cite a driver for illegal parking.
Parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities not only refer to public or private parking spaces, they also include the access aisle, under Section 291-57 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.
Anyone who parks in an access aisle or obstructs the ingress or egress to a parking space reserved for a person with a disability faces a fine of $250 to $500.
The Honolulu Police Department advises calling 911 to report the illegal parking.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. See also: Useful phone numbers