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Increased Saturation Patrols Begin March 16 for St. Patrick’s Holiday

March 15, 2018, 10:27 AM HST · Updated March 16, 5:35 AM
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Starting Friday, March 16, and continuing through the weekend, Maui police will increase saturation patrols as part of a St. Patrick’s Day Impaired Driving Prevention campaign.

St. Patrick’s Day this year falls on Saturday, March 17, 2018.

Police say the holiday has become one of the nation’s deadliest with a dramatic spike in drunk-driving fatalities.

“We would like to support a safe and responsible celebration for the community we serve and by concentrating our traffic enforcement efforts on impaired driving offenses during this period we hope to do just that,” Maui police said in a press release.

During the campaign, motorist can expect to see increased saturation patrols during all hours of the day and night, which will include the use of unmarked patrol vehicles, police motorcycles and sobriety checkpoints at various locations throughout the weekend.

Police that that in the United States, impaired driving kills an average of 1 person every 53 minutes, or more than 10,000 people each year.

Police say that being properly secured in a vehicle is the single most effective way to avoid being killed in a traffic crash. As part of the department’s efforts to keep the public safe on, Police will exercise zero tolerance for cellular phone use while driving as well. Hawaiʻi’s mobile electronic device law makes holding a cellular phone in your hand while operating a vehicle a violation. The current mobile electronic device violation fine amount is $297 or $347 if the violation occurs in a school or construction zone.

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Police also issued a reminder to drivers of the “Move Over Law,” which states drivers approaching an emergency vehicle that is stopped with it’s flashing emergency lights activated shall: slow down to a safe speed, make a lane change into the adjacent lane or if possible, two lanes over, which leaves one lane between the driver and the emergency vehicle. If necessary, the driver shall come to a complete stop before making a lane change.

Maui police released the following list of tips to keep roadways safe:

  • Plan a safe way home before you start celebrating.
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver. If you wait until you’re impaired, you’re more likely to make a bad decision.
  • If you’ve been drinking, use the Uber or Lyft ride-sharing services, take a taxi or call a sober friend.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, call the Maui Police Department immediately to report it. You could save a life.
  • If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, be a true friend and take their keys. Help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

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