HPD Reminds Motorists to Celebrate Responsibly This Holiday Season
With traffic fatalities up 66% higher than this time last year, Hawai‘i Police Department is urging motorists to drive safely and sober this holiday season.
To date this year, there have been 25 fatalities on Big Island roads, compared to 15 at this time in 2020. Of those 25 traffic deaths, impairment was a factor in at least 11 of the fatalities.
HPD will be out in force and on the lookout for impaired drivers this holiday season. HPD will conduct sign-waving reminding motorists to drive safely in Hāmākua on Wednesday, Dec. 15, and in Hilo, Ka’ū, Kona, and Kamuela, on Thursday, Dec. 16.
“Drug-impaired and drunk driving is a problem on our island highways,” HPD stated in a press release Wednesday, Dec. 15. “Whether the drug is legally prescribed or an illegal drug, driving while drug-impaired poses a threat to the driver, vehicle passengers, and other road users.”
Something as simple as cold medication or over-the-counter sleep aid can impair your driving, which may lead to you being arrested for a DUI. Impaired? Do not drive.
If you plan on going to a party or event, plan ahead and designate a sober driver or use public transportation or a ride-sharing service. Someone who’s affected by drugs or alcohol shouldn’t be making decisions about driving; that’s why having a plan is key.
DUI violations are not just for drunk driving. Remember, any impairment, including drugs, is illegal if you are operating a vehicle. If you are impaired by any substance, do not drive.
On average, a DUI could cost up to $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, and more.
“If you’re caught driving under the influence of any impairing substance, you can face jail time,” the release states. “Drug-impaired driving could cause you to lose your driver’s license and your vehicle.”
If you have chosen to use an impairing substance, do not drive, HPD advises. Passengers should never ride with an impaired driver. If you think a driver may be impaired, do not get in the car.
Do you have a friend who is about to drive while impaired by drugs? Take the keys away and arrange to get them home safely.
If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact the police.