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Police stepping up DUI checkpoints for Thanksgiving weekend


Hawai'i Police Department officers conduct DUI checkpoints this holiday weekend.

Hawai'i Police Department officers conduct DUI checkpoints this holiday weekend.

Big Island police are informing motorists that officers will be conducting DUI checkpoints throughout the Big Island in anticipation of the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drunk Driving: Over the Limit. Under Arrest.” Sergeant Kelly Ka’aumoana-Matsumoto, head of the Traffic Services Section, said police are reminding motorist of the consequences of impaired driving.

Officers from the Traffic Enforcement Unit and Traffic Services Section, supported by the Traffic Safety Coordinator representing the Impaired Driving Task Force, conducted a DUI checkpoint Wednesday (November 25) in Hilo. They reminded motorists about the hazards of drinking and driving and gave them literature on the subject and information about the Shared Ride Taxi Program.

The County of Hawai’i Mass Transit Agency maintains this program all year long. Every individual is entitled to buy highly subsidized taxi coupons for as low as $2 each and use them with participating taxi companies.

For details call 961-8744 or visit Thanks to generous contributions from various county agencies, liquor-serving establishments in Hilo and Kailua-Kona will be able to hand out up to two free taxi coupons during December.

Wednesday’s checkpoint kicked off the Thanksgiving Holiday enforcement efforts on the Big Island.

Drunk driving was responsible for at least 10 of the 21 traffic deaths so far this year, amounting to 53 percent of the total. By comparison, 17 of the 27 fatalities recorded for all of last year–or 63 percent–were attributed to drunk driving.

“We need to get the message out that driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs kills,” said Ka’aumoana-Matsumoto. “Always remember to have a designated, sober and licensed driver before you start drinking. If you can’t find one, don’t take a chance –take a taxi!”

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