Maui Police Join Families Impacted by Impaired Driving to Raise Awareness
Maui police joined families impacted by impaired driving by raising awareness during simultaneous sign waving events held Friday afternoon, Sept. 3, in Lahaina and Kīhei.
The Maui Police Department has also partnered with the State of Hawaii Department of Transportation, police departments across the state, as well as MADD Hawai‘i in a “No Excuses Hawaiʻi” campaign.
So far this year in Maui County, police made 378 impaired driving arrests (up 11%), which include 17 habitual impaired driving arrests. Current traffic fatalities for Maui County stands at 11 compared to six at the same time last year. Police say nearly half of the fatal traffic crashes that have occurred this year in Maui County involve an impaired driver, speeding, or lack of proper seatbelt usage.
On Hawai‘i Island, 727 drivers have been arrested for being under the influence of an intoxicant and 15 people have been killed in traffic related crashes so far this year.
In the State of Hawaiʻi, an impaired driving arrest becomes a felony on the third arrest following two prior convictions within 10 years of the instant offense, or if a person was convicted of habitual impaired driving one or more times within 10 years prior to the instant offense.
“If you plan on drinking alcohol or consuming anything that could impair your abilities, please don’t drive. Have a plan to get home with a sober driver, call a cab, a ride share, or a friend or family member. There are many options to keep you and your loved ones safe. Slow down, wear your seatbelt, stay focused on the road, and remember there is absolutely no reason to drive under the influence,” said Hawaiʻi Island police, who were conducting similar events this week.
The Maui Police Department will step up impaired driving enforcement over the Labor Day holiday–starting today, and continuing through the weekend.
The Traffic Division will be conducting saturation patrols with a noticeable increase in Impaired Driving Checkpoints, including a Saturation Saturday event held in coordination with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Police say the Labor Day weekend is one of the deadliest times of the year in terms of impaired driving fatalities.
“We need our community to understand: It is up to them to make the smart decision to drive sober, slow down and buckle up to help put an end to these senseless preventable deaths occurring on our roadways,” said Maui police.
“If you are out on the roads and you see someone suspected of driving impaired, please call the Maui Police Department and report it. You could help save a life. We humbly request the public’s assistance. Your support is critical to helping us make our roads safer and stopping preventable impaired driving deaths from occurring,” according to a department press release.
The Maui Police Department offered the following tips to celebrate responsibly:
- Plan a safe way home before you start consuming intoxicants.
- If you have been drinking, utilize Uber or Lyft (Smartphone driven online transportation networks) take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member.
- If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, be a true friend and take his or her keys. Help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
- Make the smart choice to not drink and drive. Help keep our roadways safe for everyone.