HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to motor vehicle insurance.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. Section 431:10C-117, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
"(a)(1) Any person subject to this article in the capacity of the operator, owner, or registrant of a motor vehicle operated in this State, or registered in this State, who violates any applicable provision of this article, shall be subject to citation for the violation by any county police department in a form and manner approved by the traffic and emergency period violations bureau of the district court of the first circuit;
(2) Notwithstanding any provision of the Hawaii Penal Code:
(A) Each violation
shall be deemed a separate offense and shall be subject to a fine of no less
nor more than [ $5,000] $ ,
which shall not be suspended except as provided in subparagraph (B); and
(B) If the person is
convicted of not having had a motor vehicle insurance policy in effect at the
time the citation was issued, the fine shall be [
for the first offense and a minimum of [ $1,500] $
for each subsequent offense that occurs within a five-year period from any
prior offense; provided that the court:
(i) Shall have the discretion to suspend all or any portion of the fine if the defendant provides proof of having a current motor vehicle insurance policy; provided further that upon the defendant's request, the court may grant community service in lieu of the fine, of no less than seventy-five hours and no more than one hundred hours for the first offense, and no less than two hundred hours nor more than two hundred seventy-five hours for the second offense; and
(ii) May grant community service in lieu of the fine for subsequent offenses at the court's discretion;
(3) In addition to the fine in paragraph (2), the court shall either:
(A) Suspend the driver's license of the driver or of the registered owner for:
(i) Three months for the first conviction; and
(ii) One year for any subsequent offense within a five-year period from a previous offense;
provided that the driver or the registered owner shall not be required to obtain proof of financial responsibility pursuant to section 287‑20; or
(B) Require the driver or the registered owner to keep a nonrefundable motor vehicle insurance policy in force for six months;
(4) Any person subject to a fine under this section and who fails to timely pay the fine shall be given an opportunity to petition the court to demonstrate that the person's nonpayment or inability to pay is not wilful; provided that if the person petitions the court, the court shall make an individualized assessment of the person's ability to pay based upon the totality of the circumstances, including the person's disposable income, financial obligations, and liquid assets; provided further that if the court determines that the person's nonpayment or inability to pay is not wilful, the court may enter an order that allows additional time for payment; reduces the amount of each installment; revokes the fee or fine, or unpaid portion thereof, in whole or in part; or converts any outstanding fine to community service;
(5) Any person cited under this section shall have an opportunity to present a good faith defense, including lack of knowledge or proof of insurance; provided that the general penalty provision of this section shall not apply to:
(A) Any operator of a motor vehicle owned by another person if the operator's own insurance covers such driving;
(B) Any operator of a motor vehicle owned by that person's employer during the normal scope of that person's employment; or
(C) Any operator of a borrowed motor vehicle if the operator holds a reasonable belief that the subject vehicle is insured;
(6) In the case of multiple convictions for driving without a valid motor vehicle insurance policy within a five-year period from any prior offense, the court, in addition to any other penalty, shall impose the following penalties:
(A) Imprisonment of no more than thirty days;
(B) Suspension or revocation of the motor vehicle registration plates of the vehicle involved;
(C) Impoundment, or impoundment and sale, of the motor vehicle for the costs of storage and other charges incident to seizure of the vehicle, or any other cost involved pursuant to section 431:10C-301; or
(D) Any combination of those penalties; and
(7) Any violation as provided in paragraph (2)(B) shall not be deemed to be a traffic infraction as defined by chapter 291D."
SECTION 2. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Motor Vehicle Insurance; Fines
Increases the fines for violating motor vehicle insurance requirements.
The summary description
of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is
not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.