Maui Police Cinco de Mayo Impaired Driving Enforcement Starts Today

May 3, 2017, 3:36 PM HST · Updated May 3, 3:52 PM
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Impaired Driving Enforcement. Maui Now graphic.

Starting today and continuing through the weekend, the Maui Police Department will be participating in a national campaign sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to increase impaired driving enforcement in conjunction with the Cinco de Mayo holiday.

Police say the intent of the campaign is to save lives and prevent injuries through voluntarily compliance and by taking a zero tolerance approach to impaired driving enforcement.

The Maui Police Department Traffic Section will be concentrating its traffic enforcement operations as part of the campaign.  “While traffic enforcement is always a priority for our Traffic Section, motorist can expect to see an increase to our normal enforcement activities. We will be conducting Intoxication Control Checkpoints at various locations throughout Maui County. The enforcement of Speed Limit, Distracted Driver (Cell Phone) and Seat Belt laws will also be increased as a part of this campaign,” said Maui police.

Drivers and passengers are also being reminded to wear seat belts and make sure every vehicle occupant is buckled up. “Being properly secured in a vehicle is the single most effective way to avoid being killed in a traffic crash,” police say.

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The minimum fine for not wearing a seat belt and/or not being properly restrained in a vehicle is $102. Drivers are responsible for ensuring all occupants in their vehicle are properly restrained. The driver will be issued the citation for any and all seat belt violations which occur in a vehicle.

The use of a mobile electronic device (cellular phone) while operating a vehicle will result in a minimum fine of $297.

Police will also be enforcing the state’s “Move Over Law,” which states that drivers approaching an emergency vehicle that is stopped with its flashing emergency lights 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 Department DUI Task Force Sergeant Nick Krau is also asking for the public’s assistance in helping to keep the roadways safe and offered the following tips:

  • 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, utilize UBER or LYFT (smart phone based online transportation networks), take a taxi or call a sober friend or family member.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, call the Maui Police Department 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.
  • Decide whether you’ll drink or you’ll drive. You can’t do both.

Historically, the fifth of May commemorates Mexico’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Police say present-day celebrations often lead to drunk driving, and created the campaign to keep the roads safe.

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