Enforcement effort nets arrests, tickets

Maui police made 60 arrests for intoxicated driving and also ticketed drivers for speeding and seat-belt violations during stepped-up enforcement in the two weeks that ended Sept. 2.

The effort, which included saturated police patrols and roadblocks, was part of a nationwide impaired driving crackdown that was carried out through the Labor Day holiday.

“The numbers look good, unfortunately,” said Lt. Ricky Uedoi, commander of the police Traffic Section. “It just shows that we still have a problem out there that needs to be addressed.”

In addition to making the 60 DUI arrests, police throughout Maui County ticketed drivers for 93 seat-belt citations, five child restraint violations and 362 speeding violations.

One driver, stopped for speeding on Mokulele Highway in the early-morning hours of Aug. 30, was told she was being arrested for suspected intoxicated driving before she got back in her vehicle and began driving away, Uedoi said. He said the woman had been told to make arrangements to have someone pick up a pit bull that was in the car. The woman said she was going to secure the car before instead driving away, Uedoi said.

He said that an officer tried to pull over the driver, but she continued on to her residence in Kihei, where she tried to run into the house and was Tasered.

At the residence, she reportedly told the officer, “I told you I could make it home.”

Police charged the driver, identified as Laura Sharpe, 33, with DUI, second-degree escape, resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle and resisting arrest.

The arrest was among 303 felony arrests during the period. Police also reported recovering 10 stolen vehicles, apprehending 153 fugitives and making 56 drug arrests.

Seventeen drivers were charged with driving while their licenses were suspended, 137 drivers were ticketed for not having insurance and 25 drivers were charged with reckless driving.

Enforcement efforts are continuing, Uedoi said.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, he reminded those who drink alcohol not to drive and to use a sober designated driver or find another way home.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.