Police Officers and Prosecutors Honored for DUI Efforts
Eight Hawai‘i Island police officers and two deputy prosecuting attorneys were honored on May 2 by Mothers Against Drunk Driving Hawai‘i (MADD Hawai‘i) and Toyota Hawai‘i for their efforts to reduce accidents and fatalities on roadways in Hawai‘i by impaired drivers.
The honorees include four West Hawaiʻi officers and Deputy Prosecutor Stephen Frye, who were recognized during a luncheon at Fumi’s Kitchen in Kailua-Kona. The officers were: South Kohala Patrol Officer Cory Gray for 29 DUI arrests, Kona Patrol Officer Ansel Robinson for 20 DUI arrests, Kona Patrol Officer Dayson Taniguchi for 28 DUI arrests and Kona Officer Adam Roberg for 31 DUI arrests.
Four East Hawaiʻi officers and Deputy Prosecutor Christopher Rothfus were honored at the Hilo Yacht Club for their service. The officers were: South Hilo Patrol Officer Lawrence Kobayashi for 15 DUI arrests, Puna Patrol Officer James Waiamau for 42 DUI arrests, Area I Traffic Enforcement Unit Officer Erhard Autrata for 61 DUI arrests and Area I Traffic Enforcement Unit Officer Keith Nacis for 62 DUI arrests.
“These law enforcement recognition events underscore the close relationship between MADD and law enforcement—police and prosecutors,” said MADD Hawai‘i’s Chairperson of Victim Services, Theresa Paulette. “They are MADD’s most critical allies in the fight against drunk driving. We are deeply grateful to Toyota Hawai‘i for its enthusiastic sponsorship.”
Toyota Hawai‘i has sponsored and partnered with MADD Hawai‘i since 2012 to host statewide annual law enforcement recognition events.
“There is never an excuse to get behind the wheel intoxicated or impaired,” said Glenn Inouye, senior vice president of Servco, representing all Toyota Hawai‘i dealers. “We’re honored to partner with MADD Hawaii to raise awareness about the critical need to stop impaired driving and salute our police officers who have saved lives in this effort.”
Summary of Honorees
- Officer Adam Roberg made 31 “operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant” (OVUII) arrests and issued 83 speeding violations, a major contributing factor to fatal crashes. A Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) and a certified supervisor for the Intoxilyzer 8000, he is responsible for maintaining the units on the west side of Hawai‘i Island.
- Officer Cory Gray made 29 OVUII arrests and issued 83 speeding violations.
- Officer Ansel Robinson, a DRE, made 20 OVUII arrests and issued 56 speeding violations.
- Officer Dayson Taniguchi made 28 OVUII arrests and issued 236 speeding violations.
- Deputy Prosecutor Stephen Frye handled a significant number of OVUII cases, including habitual OVUII cases, traffic injuries and fatalities. As the traffic safety resource prosecutor for the State of Hawai‘i, he ensures prosecutors have access to national resources needed to effectively prosecute impaired drivers. He is instrumental in conducting an annual training serving more than 60 police and prosecutors toward these efforts.
- Officer Lawrence Kobayashi made 15 OVUII arrests in 2017, including two on one shift while investigating 385 incidents, 68 traffic crashes, issuing 537 traffic citations, making 9 arrests, serving 55 court documents and responding to 821 miscellaneous public complaints. As a field training officer he made an additional 15 DUI arrests with new officers.
- Officer Keith Nacis leads the Traffic Unit with 62 OVUII arrests in addition to issuing 559 speeding citations, 77 mobile electronic device citations and more than 532 other citations. A Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) instructor, he conducted 4 DRE evaluations and as a standardized field sobriety test instructor, provided recruit training and patrol refresher trainings in field sobriety testing.
- Officer James Waiamau is the single highest OVUII producer for the Puna District, apprehending 42 OVUII drivers—about six percent of the 276 total Puna OVUII arrests and more than double that of the next highest officer count. He also served 86 bench warrants and issued 1,277 citations.
- Deputy Prosecutor Christopher Rothfus handles a significant amount of OVUII and related cases. As supervisor of the District and Family Court Unit, he works closely with other attorneys developing trial techniques to successfully prosecute OVUII cases. He also assists the Hawai‘i Police Department in training new recruits to investigate and prosecute OVUII cases.