DUI checkpoints, patrols underway

Police ask public to help keep drunken drivers off roads

The Maui News

Police are increasing DUI checkpoints and patrols for impaired drivers this holiday season as part of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign.

The stepped-up enforcement begins today and continues through New Year’s Day.

In addition to increased impaired driving enforcement, officers will be ticketing drivers for speeding, improper seat belt use, talking or texting on cellphones and running red traffic signals.

“The goal is to keep our roads and community safe during the holiday season,” police said in a news release.

So far this year, 22 people have died in crashes on Maui County roads, compared with 16 at the same time last year. Fifteen, or 68 percent, of the fatalities this year involved a driver impaired by alcohol or drugs, police said.

In addition to reminding all drivers to drive sober, police are asking for help from the community.

“If someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take his or her keys, offer another alternative and help us prevent a tragedy,” police said. “Take care of your loved ones this holiday and let’s make sure everyone arrives home safely. Working together as a community, we can all help do our part to make our roads safer.”

Police said people should plan not to drive if they know they will be drinking alcohol and designate a sober driver before a party begins. People who have been drinking can call a taxi, Uber or Lyft, phone a sober friend or family member, or take the bus, police said.

“Remember that it is never OK to drink and drive,” police said. “Even if you have only had one alcoholic beverage, make other plans to get home safely.”