Hawaii Traffic Violations
Hawaii's traffic laws are designed to be efficient for the government, keep you out of court if at all possible and ensure that truly dangerous drivers are taken off the road. If you receive a traffic violation in Hawaii, the most important question is how severe the violation is. If you have left the scene of an accident you caused, got caught drag racing along the coastline, or were pulled over while driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, you are likely looking at a trial and the prospect of jail time for your indiscretion. The citation you receive once you are pulled over will clearly state if you have committed such a serious infraction and are required to appear in court.
However, if you are simply pulled over for speeding or rolling through a stop light, a Hawaii law enforcement officer will hand you a citation with nearly all you need to know about how to handle your traffic violation. The Hawaii district court overseeing your traffic violation would like nothing more than to have you pay your fine quickly and be on your way. If you want to do so, you can pay in-person, online, by phone or by mail. Your citation will even come with a self-addressed envelope; all you need is a stamp. If you aren't sure if you want to go down without a fight, you will have 21 days to make your decision.
If you want to appear in court to dispute the charges, you will have these three weeks to submit your plea in person at the local Hawaii district court handling your traffic violation, or you can mail in your plea to that same Hawaii court, the address of which will be given to you on your citation. The Hawaii district court system has generously compiled a list of tips to consider before appearing in court to present your case.
Finally, you may want to appear in Hawaii district court and plead guilty, but request that the court consider some extenuating circumstances that warrant having your traffic violation reduced or dismissed. One such possibility is a chance to participate in a defensive driving program or traffic school to increase your safe driving skills, in exchange for minimizing or getting rid of your violation altogether.
Hawaii Points System and Suspension of Your Hawaii Driving Privileges
Though Hawaii's Motor Vehicle Safety Office ("MVS") once oversaw a traditional points program to track Hawaii driver's unsafe driving habits, Hawaii has since scrapped the program to alleviate the burden on the Hawaii judiciary. As a result, points are no longer accumulated against your Hawaii driving record. Rather, your Hawaii driving record merely lists all of your previous traffic violations. The good news is a large number of traffic violations will not result in an automatic suspension of your Hawaii driving privileges. The bad news is that this will not stop your insurance provider from raising your auto insurance premiums for consistent bad driving, nor will it prevent Hawaii courts from suspending your license on an individual basis based on repeated disregard for Hawaii's traffic laws.
In addition, some traffic violations in and of themselves can result in an automatic suspension of your Hawaii driving privileges. These traffic violations are considered criminal infractions by the Hawaii legislature, and thus require you to appear in Hawaii district court and will likely cause you to lose your Hawaii driving privileges, at least temporarily, if you are convicted or plead guilty. While some of these infractions, such as a reckless driving, evading police officer, DWI or leaving the scene of an accident, can be serious and life threatening, others, like driving without car insurance, can be a surprise to the Hawaii driver who is told upon being issued the citation that the repercussions for his or her actions are quite severe.
Attending Traffic School in Hawaii
Hawaii, because it no longer uses a point system for Hawaii driving records, also no longer has a policy allowing you to enroll in a Hawaii traffic school or driver improvement program to have traffic violations or their accompanying points removed from your Hawaii driving record. However, you may be required by a Hawaii court to enroll in a Hawaii traffic school or driver improvement program as a requirement of your conviction for a serious traffic offense. Or, you may have been given the opportunity to have a minor traffic violation dismissed, by appearing in court for a minor traffic violation and pleading guilty and requesting a chance to mitigate your conviction. Either way, a Hawaii online traffic school or online driver improvement program may satisfy the requirements set forth by the court.
If you would like to enroll in a Hawaii online traffic school or online driver improvement program, you should ask the judge you appear before in court, or contact the court before or after appearing to ask if your preferred Hawaii online driver improvement program or online traffic school course will qualify.
The Benefits of a Clean Hawaii Driving Record
Hawaii driver improvement courses and Hawaii online traffic schools are offered to help Hawaii drivers become safer and more defensive-minded behind the wheel, by teaching and developing the driving skills needed to prevent avoidable traffic accidents and traffic violations. These skills will help you retain a clean Hawaii driving record, which is extremely important, especially for the purposes of your auto insurance. The cost of your Hawaii auto insurance premiums correlate directly with the cleanliness of your Hawaii driving record, and a Hawaii online traffic school or driver improvement program will help keep your record as clean as possible by keeping you out of accidents, out of court and out of your insurance carrier's doghouse.
Hawaii Juvenile and Mature Driver Insurance Discounts
You may even qualify for an insurance discount for your successful participation in a Hawaii online driver improvement program or Hawaii online traffic school. Car insurance providers often provide special discounts for Juvenile Drivers, those drivers under the age of 18, and Mature Drivers, those drivers over the age of 55, who exhibit safe driving skills and possess a Hawaii driving record reflective of that. You or a driver in your household may qualify for such a discount by enrolling in a Hawaii online traffic school or driver improvement program. To see if you qualify, reach out to your local Hawaii insurance provider and ask about available Juvenile Driver and Mature Driver insurance discount programs and courses.
Hawaii Classroom Traffic Schools
If you are interested in participating in a Hawaii defensive driving course or driver improvement program in a standard classroom setting, you should contact the Hawaii judiciary for more information on pre-approved brick-and-mortar classroom traffic schools and driver improvement programs.