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BLOG: DUIs, Crashes Down; Fatalities Way Up

February 20, 2013, 2:23 PM HST
* Updated February 20, 2:56 PM
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Blog posts are to provide insights that don’t fit into regular news coverage. They are not intended to represent the views of Big Island Now.

It was good news and bad news recently from the Hawaii Police Department.

The good news was that as of Sunday, arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs stood at 147, down nearly 20% compared to the 183 arrests for the same period in 2012.

Also, the number of traffic accidents for the year has also dropped, to 159 from 197, a reduction of more than 19%.

But far too many of those accidents have been deadly.

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The Big Island has seen eight traffic deaths in the first six weeks of 2013, compared to two fatalities at this point last year.

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That’s an increase of 400%.

The worst was the Jan. 23 head-on collision near Pahala that killed a Na`alehu couple and three tourists.

Others included an early-morning fatality in North Kona on Jan. 15, a fatal motorcycle crash in South Kona on Jan. 28, and, most recently, the death of a Hakalau woman on the Akoni Pule Highway in North Kohala on Feb. 9.

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Speeding or substances were believed to be factors in the last three.

Police said continuing DUI roadblocks and patrols island-wide will be part of their efforts to make Big Island roadways safer.

And we can all do our part by ensuring that friends and family are not allowed to get behind the wheel when impaired.

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