Underage Drinking

Hawaii

The policy topics, below, address statues and regulations related to underage drinking and access to alcohol.

Possession is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • private location

Consumption is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • private location

Internal possession is not explicitly prohibited.

Notes:
Although Hawaii does not prohibit Internal Possession as defined by APIS, beginning on June 19, 2006, it has a statutory provision that states that, "[n]o minor shall consume or purchase liquor and no minor shall consume or have liquor in the minor's possession or custody in any public place, public gathering, or public amusement, at any public beach or public park, or in any motor vehicle on a public highway" and that “"consume" or 'consumption' includes the ingestion of liquor." Haw. Rev. Stat. § 281-101.5. Laws that prohibit minors from having alcohol in their bodies, but which do so without reference to a blood, breath, or urine test, are not considered as prohibiting Internal Possession as defined by APIS.

Purchase is prohibited, but youth MAY PURCHASE for law enforcement purposes.

Furnishing is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • parent/guardian
  • Beer: 18 for both servers and bartenders
  • Wine: 18 for both servers and bartenders
  • Spirits: 18 for both servers and bartenders

Condition(s) that must be met in order for an underage person to sell alcoholic beverages:

  • manager/supervisor is present

Notes:
Liquor can be sold or served by persons 18 to 20 years of age only in licensed establishments where selling or serving the intoxicating liquor is part of the minor's employment, and where there is proper supervision of these minor employees to ensure that the minors shall not consume the intoxicating liquor. Persons below the age of 18 years may sell or serve liquor in individually specified licensed establishments found to be otherwise suitable by the liquor commission in which an approved program of job training and employment for dining room waiters and waitresses is being conducted in cooperation with the University of Hawaii, the state community college system, or a federally sponsored personnel development and training program, under arrangements that ensure proper control and supervision of employees.

  • Beer: 18
  • Wine: 18
  • Spirits: 18

Condition(s) that must be met in order for an underage person to sell alcoholic beverages:

  • manager/supervisor is present

Notes:
Liquor can be sold by persons 18 to 20 years of age only in licensed establishments where selling or serving the intoxicating liquor is part of the minor's employment, and where there is proper supervision of these minor employees to ensure that the minors shall not consume the intoxicating liquor.

Provision(s) targeting minors:

  • Use of a false ID to obtain alcohol is a criminal offense
  • No driver's license suspension procedure

Provision(s) targeting retailers:

  • Licenses for drivers under age 21 are easily distinguishable from those for drivers age 21 and older
  • General affirmative defense - the retailer came to a good faith or reasonable decision that the purchaser was 21 years or older; inspection of an identification card not required

Notes:
In Hawaii, the retailer has a defense to a charge of furnishing to a minor if, in making the sale or allowing the consumption of liquor by a minor, the retailer was misled by the appearance of the minor and the attending circumstances into honestly believing that the minor was of legal age, and if the retailer can prove that he or she acted in good faith.

BAC limit: 0.02 - a BAC level above the limit is per se (conclusive) evidence of a violation.
Applies to drivers under age 21.

  • Type(s) of violation leading to driver's license suspension, revocation, or denial:
    • Underage purchase
    • Underage possession
    • Underage consumption
  • Use/lose penalties apply to minors under age 21
  • Authority to impose driver's license sanction
    • mandatory
  • Length of suspension/revocation:
    • Minimum: 180 days
    • Maximum: Not Specified
  • Type(s) of violation leading to driver's license suspension, revocation, or denial:
    • Underage purchase
    • Underage possession
    • Underage consumption
  • Use/lose penalties apply to minors under age 18
  • Authority to impose driver's license sanction
    • discretionary
  • Length of suspension/revocation:
    • Minimum: 180 days
    • Maximum: Not Specified

Social host law is not specifically limited to underage drinking parties.

Action by underage guest that triggers violation: Possession

Property type(s) covered by liability law:

  • Residence
  • Outdoor
  • Other

Standard for hosts' knowledge or action regarding the party: RECKLESSNESS - the host may not have acted with actual knowledge but must act with intentional disregard for the probable consequences of his or her actions

Exception(s):

  • Family