The holiday season is a time full of parties and festivities. But that also means more impaired drivers are on the roadways.
On Thursday, the Maui Police Department reminded the public that as our community prepares for celebrations with family and friends, they will be working tirelessly to keep everyone traveling on our roadways safe.
As participants of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign, MPD will be increasing our number of DUI patrols and setting up an increased number of intoxication control checkpoints.
“If you’re driving impaired, we will find and arrest you,” MPD said in a release. “No warnings, no excuses. You’ll face jail time, fines, loss of your driver’s license and other related expenses.”
Beginning December 13 and continuing into the New Year, you will see enhanced traffic enforcement watching closely for anyone who is driving impaired. MPD’s mission is to keep our roads and community safe. In addition to increased impaired driving enforcement, you can expect to see officers proactively enforcing speeding, seat belt and cell phone-talking/texting laws, as well as violators running red traffic signals.
Every day, almost 29 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes. That’s one person every 50 minutes in 2016. Nationally, drunk-driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the last three decades however, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year.
In 2016, the MPD Traffic Section investigated 20 traffic fatalities. Of these 20 traffic fatalities 9 of them (45%) involved a driver with a blood alcohol level of .080% or higher.
Even one drink can be one drink too many. The only way to truly avoid a DUI is to drive completely sober.
There are many ways to get home safely after drinking, and driving isn’t one of them. In addition to reminding all drivers to drive sober, MPD is asking for the help and support of our community. If someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take their keys and help them get home safely. We must work together to make our roads safer this holiday season and year-round.
MPD is asking drivers to please follow these tips to keep the holidays safe and happy:
- Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve only had one alcoholic beverage, make other plans to get home safely;
- If you know you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before the party begins;
- If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, Uber, Lyft, phone a sober friend or family member, or use our public bus system;
- Remember a sober driver isn’t the person who drank the least. It’s someone who didn’t drink at all;
- Always wear your seat belt—it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.