Maui News

Bill seeking to crack down on drunk driving advances; SB2384 proposes lowering the legal BAC to 0.05%

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DUI Checkpoint. PC: Hawaiʻi Island Police

More than 65 people and organizations testified Tuesday in support of a bill that seeks to crack down on drunk driving in Hawaiʻi. Senate Bill 2384, which proposes to lower the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for driving from 0.08% to 0.05%, was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The action effectively revives legislation to lower the BAC after House Bill 1935 died earlier this month.

Notable testimony included the National Transportation Safety Board, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Hawai‘i County Prosecutor’s Office, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving as well as personal stories from victims and survivors underscoring the immeasurable impact the bill could have in saving lives and preventing future tragedies.


According to traffic safety facts released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in December 2023, an early estimate of motor vehicle traffic fatalities for the first nine months of 2023 indicates a 4.5% decrease across the United States, a 19% decrease in Hawai‘i.

Bill advocates say: “Following a spike in traffic fatalities during the pandemic, this reduction is encouraging; however, as has been true for nearly 20 years, an estimated 40% of those deaths in Hawai‘i involve driver blood alcohol concentration of 0.01% or more, with the majority being higher than 0.08%.

The bill is backed by the Hawai‘i Alcohol Policy Alliance. The organization joins Hawai‘i Public Health Institute, Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i, Hale ​​‘Opio, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving in hosting a roadside rally on Kauaʻi this weekend. The Kauaʻi event takes place from 12-1 p.m. on March 2, across from Līhu‘e Airport, in front of the Aloha from Kaua‘i sign. Organizers say the event supports promotes safe driving and violence awareness, as well as advocacy training.


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