Hawai’i Police Department
Traffic Services Section
Sergeant Kelly Ka’aumoana-Matsumoto
December 24, 2009
As we approach the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, Big Island police are informing motorists that police will be conducting DUI checkpoints throughout the island during the holiday season. 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.
On Wednesday (December 23), 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 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 check it out on the internet at www.heleonbus.org/shared-ride-taxi-program.
Thanks to generous contributions by various county agencies, from now until the New Year, participating liquor-serving establishments in Hilo and Kailua-Kona are able to hand out up to two free taxi coupons per patron.
The DUI checkpoint Wednesday kicked off the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s holiday enforcement efforts on the Big Island.
Alcohol was involved in at least 11 of the 22 traffic deaths so far this year, amounting to 50 percent of the total. By comparison 17 of the 27 fatalities recorded for all of last year—or 63 percent—involved alcohol use.
"Always remember to have a designated, sober and licensed driver before you start drinking," said Sergeant Ka’aumoana-Matsumoto. "If you don’t find one, don’t take a chance—take a taxi!"