East Hawaii News

Holiday DUI Checkpoints to Increase Starting Friday

December 13, 2012, 12:59 PM HST
* Updated December 13, 1:00 PM
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Beginning on Friday, Big Island police will be ramping up islandwide DUI checkpoints for the holiday season.

The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign known as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

Police will also be looking to stem underage drinking in parks and other public areas, said Sgt. Robert Pauole, head of the department’s Traffic Services Section. The effort is funded by a new federal $23,000 grant to pay for overtime for police to prevent violators from getting behind the wheel and jeopardizing the lives of others.

Alcohol has been a contributing factor in at least 43% of the 37 traffic deaths so far this year on the Big Island, police said. Nearly half of last year’s 23 fatalities involved alcohol use.

“Consider the options before you drink and drive,” Pauole said. “Always remember to have a designated, sober and licensed driver before you start drinking.

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“If you don’t find one, don’t take a chance – take a taxi,” he said.

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