Law enforcement statewide is taking part in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign during the Fourth of July holiday period, June 29 to July 5, 2019. The national campaign is aimed at putting an end to drunk driving, and includes participation from the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the four county police departments in Hawaiʻi.
Police say alcohol is considered to be a factor in a fatal motor vehicle accident reported over the weekend (June 23, 2019 ) on the Kūihelani Highway that claimed the life of a Wailuku teen. It was the 11th traffic fatality so far this year on Maui County roads and the second this month. The other occurred on June 17, 2019  in Hāli‘imaile.
Police and Transportation officials are reminding drivers to drink responsibly this holiday and throughout the year. Police will be conducting increased enforcement on the roads with “zero tolerance” for those who drive impaired.
During the 2017 Fourth of July holiday period (from 6 p.m. June 30 to 5:59 a.m. July 5), 237 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. These deaths accounted for 39% of the total motor vehicle traffic crashes that occurred over the holiday period. The deaths also represent a 23% increase from 2016, during which 192 people were killed during the same holiday period.
According to NHTSA, drunk driving accounted for 29% (10,874) of motor vehicle traffic crash-induced deaths in 2017.
With Fourth of July festivities wrapping up in the evening or late at night, more cars will be on the roads. Studies show that the rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes is higher at night. During the 2017 July 4th holiday period, of the 237 people who died in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle traffic crashes, 79% (187) of the alcohol-impaired fatalities occurred during nighttime hours (between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.).
National Facts and Statistics:
- In 2017, there were 10,874 people killed in drunk-driving crashes—almost a third of all traffic fatalities nationwide. To put it in perspective, that’s equal to about 20 jumbo jets crashing, with no survivors.
- It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher in all 50 states and the District of Columbia—no exceptions. In Utah, the BAC is now .05.
- In 2017, 601 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the July 4th holiday period (6 p.m. June 30 to 5:59 a.m. July 5). Thirty-nine percent (237) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. This is a 23-percent increase from 2016, during which 192 people were killed during the same holiday period.
- During the 2017 July 4th holiday period, 60 percent of those who died in alcohol-impaired crashes were in a crash involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .15 or higher.
- Nighttime hours are especially dangerous: Over the 2017 July 4th holiday period, of the 237 people who died in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle traffic crashes, 79 percent (187) of the alcohol-impaired fatalities occurred during nighttime hours (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.).
- From 2013 to 2017, there were 939 people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the Fourth of July holiday periods.
ADVICE FOR THE PUBLIC
Plan Before You Party:
- Plan a safe way home before the fun begins and celebrate with a plan.
- Designate a sober driver or use public transportation to get home safely.
- Download the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s SaferRide app, available for Android and Apple. The app can help users call a taxi or a friend for a ride home, and help you identify your location so you can be picked up.
Important Tips to Remember for a safe night on the roads:
- Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
- Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices: SaferRide App – Android  , and Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices: SaferRide App – Apple  . SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 9-1-1.
- Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
The Costs of Drunk Driving
Authorities say drinking and driving is dangerous, even if you’re “just buzzed.” A DUI arrest could cost you up to $10,000, the loss of your vehicle and driver’s license. Those found in violation could also face jail time, higher insurance rates, and hefty expenses from attorney’s fees, fines, car towing and repairs, and lost time at work.
Campaign organizers urge the public: “This Fourth of July, commit to only driving 100% sober. Don’t lose your independence on Independence Day, and don’t be a deadly risk to yourself and other innocent people. Remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”