So you enjoy your cocktails and you’re wondering about Hawaii’s laws and restrictions. You’re aware that several states have legislated rules that can affect your drinking pleasure. For instance, 33 states permit persons younger than 21 to consume alcohol or to consume it under certain circumstances. 24 states, including Hawaii, permit adults age 18 or older to tend bar in on-premises establishments.

Here, for your edification, are the basic drinking rules in the islands:

  • The legal drinking age in Hawaii is 21.
  • Bars are allowed to stay open daily until 2 a.m.; places with cabaret licenses are able to keep serving booze until 4 a.m.
  • Grocery and convenience stores are allowed to sell beer, wine, and liquor seven days a week, usually until 11 p.m. Proof of age is required and requested at retail establishments, bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, so it’s always a good idea to bring ID when you go out.
  • You can’t carry open containers of alcohol in your car or in any public area that isn’t zoned for alcohol consumption. (That goes for your passengers, too.) The police can fine you on the spot.
  • Don’t even think about driving while intoxicated.
  • Even though you have to be 21 years old to consume alcohol, at the age of 18 a person can serve in a restaurant that sells alcoholic drinks or as a bartender, as well as handling or selling alcohol in a retail package store as long as a supervisor is present
  • A blood-alcohol content (BAC) percentage of over .08 percent means that a driver is considered to be per se intoxicated’ and can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) based on this evidence alone. Drivers younger than 21 who are BAC tested at .02 percent or above will incur DUI penalties.
  • Drivers refusing chemical testing and drivers with a BAC of .15 percent above the legal limit of .08 percent will suffer harsher penalties.
  • Drivers suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) must comply with a police officer’s request for breath, blood, or urine testing for intoxication under implied consent laws.
  • Yes, even though you are just visiting, a DUI citation will appear on your permanent record.There’s nothing really unusual to worry about. Hawaii’s laws are pretty consistent with most other states’. Just be careful. Getting busted for an alcohol-related offense is a terrific way to ruin your vacation.

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