Hawaii Island police will conduct islandwide DUI checkpoints throughout the holiday season as part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” The campaign starts Dec. 14 and runs through Jan. 1.
Sergeant Robert P. Pauole, head of the Traffic Services Section, said police will also be conducting projects to curb underage drinking in parks and other public areas. This is in light of a new federal grant, recently signed by Mayor Billy Kenoi, for $22,956 for overtime use for police to enforce underage drinking to prevent the violator from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and jeopardizing the lives of others.
Alcohol was involved in at least 16 of the 37 traffic deaths so far this year, amounting to 43 percent of the total. Similarly, 11 of the 23 fatalities recorded for all of last year, or 48 percent, involved alcohol use.
“Consider the options before you drink and drive. Always remember to have a designated, sober and licensed driver before you start drinking,” said Pauole. “If you don’t find one; don’t take a chance—take a taxi.”