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Police ramp up DUI enforcement over holiday

November 23, 2017 - 12:05am

KAILUA-KONA — Common sites across Hawaii County this Thanksgiving weekend will include tables full of food, grocery carts full discounted presents and DUI checkpoints scattered across several well-traversed Big Island roads.

The Hawaii Island Police Department sent out a message Wednesday expressing its intent to participate fully in the national/statewide safe driving campaign “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

DUI checkpoints won’t just persist throughout the holiday weekend, but will also precede it, as this time is one of the busiest travel periods throughout the year.

So far this year, 29 people have died in traffic accidents across the island. Of those 29 fatalities, 11 have been caused directly by impaired driving, according to HPD’s press release.

“Always remember to have a designated, sober and licensed driver before you start drinking,” said Sergeant Robert P. Pauole, head of the Traffic Services Section. “If you can’t find one, don’t take a chance — call Uber or take a taxi.”

HPD also stressed the importance of buckling up or wearing a helmet while operating a motorcycle, as the chances for accidents increase simply due to higher road traffic.

“The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that risk of fatal injury goes down by 45 percent for front-seat occupants of passenger cars who wear seat belts and by 60 percent for light-truck occupants who wear them,” Pauole said. “Survive your Thanksgiving drive. Buckle up and drive sober.”

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