15 February

The heartbreaking drunk driving accident that occurred in Kakaako last month leaving three dead and five seriously injured was an unnecessary reminder of Hawaii’s drunk driving problem. The State of Hawaii has been on a mission to reduce drunk driving accidents, but there is still room for improvement. Mothers Against Driving has recommended implementing the following state-specific drunk driving safety and prevention measures:

  • Strengthen Hawaii’s interlock law by adding compliance-based removal so that drunk driving offenders are required to prove their sobriety prior to removal of interlock devices.
  • Make child endangerment a felony when drunk drivers have child passengers in the vehicle.
  • Expedite warrants for alcohol tests when suspected drunk drivers refuse a sobriety test.

Almost everyone agrees, something has to be done about Hawaii’s high rate of car accident alcohol fatalities and Hawaii wrongful death attorneys with Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli, and Pratt, P.A. thinks House Bill 703 may help. In general, the bill would permit courts to prohibit convicted drunk drivers from purchasing alcohol or publicly consuming alcohol for three years. The wife of one of the Kakaako accident’s fatal victims reportedly testified at Hawaii State Capital in favor of the bill. While it will not bring back her husband or others who have lost their lives in drunk driving accidents, Hawaii does permit wrongful death financial recovery for the decedent’s survivors in order to recover for losses they have suffered.

Wrongful death

Wrongful death law in Hawaii allows for financial recovery when the death of a person is caused by someone else’s wrongful conduct including innocent victims who suffer fatal injuries caused by a drunk driver. In general, close family members and dependents may recover damages including the following benefits:

  • Loss of society, companionship, and a consortium
  • Loss of care, attention, and counsel
  • Loss of training, guidance, and education

The personal representative of the decedent’s estate may bring a cause of action to recover costs associated with the decedent’s last illness and burial including:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • The value of lost compensation
  • Medical expenses related to the accident

Dram shop recovery

In some cases, financial recovery may be available against alcohol sellers who violated the liquor code in selling alcohol to the drunk driver. For example, if alcohol is sold to a minor or to an obviously intoxicated person who goes on to cause a car accident, an injured person or the family of someone killed in the accident may seek recovery against the alcohol seller.

While work is being done to combat drunk driving and resulting injuries and death including House Bill 703, the problem still exists. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident, contact a Hawaii wrongful death attorney at Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli, and Pratt, P.A. to discuss the accident and resulting injuries. You and your family deserve to be compensated for your losses and our attorneys will take action against every possible responsible party to achieve maximum recovery.

Contact jed kurzban

1003 Bishop Street, Suite 1600
Pauahi Tower
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

980-495-0046 305-444-3503

Miami Office
131 Madeira Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134

305-444-0060 305-444-3503



Jed Kurzban Esq

Catastrophic Injury Attorney Hawaii

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    Catastrophic Injury Attorney Hawaii