By JOHN BURNETT
A grand jury has returned habitual drunken driving indictments against two Hilo men.
According to police, 24-year-old Darby-James Lopaka Hauanio Jr. was arrested on Aug. 25 at 1:55 a.m. on Hilo Bayfront Highway.
A two-count indictment dated Wednesday charged Hauanio with habitual DUI and driving after his license was suspended and revoked.
According to court records, Hauanio appeared in Hilo District Court on the charges on Aug. 27, but the charges were dropped at that time without prejudice — meaning they can be re-filed — at the state’s request due to errors on the complaint.
Court records indicate that Hauanio has three previous DUI convictions. He was convicted Feb. 13 of DUI and driving without a license and sentenced to 14 days in jail, a $500 fine and $30 fees. The offense took place on Jan. 30.
Hauanio was also convicted on March 28, 2011 of DUI and driving while his license was suspended and without insurance. He was sentenced to five days in jail, a $500 fine, and his license was suspended for an additional 90 days.
And on Sept. 3, 2008, he was convicted of DUI and sentenced to three days in jail and a $30 criminal injury compensation fee. He was on five years probation at the time for two counts of unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle, a felony.
In an unrelated case, 69-year-old Hilo resident James Allen Costa was charged with habitual DUI, driving after his license was suspended or revoked for DUI and driving without insurance.
According to a police log, Costa was arrested on March 25 at 1:05 a.m. on West Kawili Street in Hilo. He was released from custody after posting $2,525 bail.
Costa had been scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Hilo District Court on the charges on May 22, but the indictment moves the case to Hilo Circuit Court.
According to court records, Costa pleaded no contest on May 26, 2010 to a DUI offense that occurred on Jan. 28 that year. He was fined $750 plus $412 in fees.
And on Dec. 23, 2009, he pleaded no contest to two DUI offenses that occurred on March 17 and May 22 that year. Costa was fined $500 for the earlier offense and $1,000 for the later charge, and assessed $382 in fees.
Habitual DUI is defined as having been convicted at least three times for DUI in the 10 years prior to the current offense and is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Email John Burnett at email@example.com.