Hawai’i Police Department
Traffic Services Section
Dieter H Blattler
December 21, 2010
Big Island police are reminding motorists that officers will conduct 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.” Dieter Blattler, the Police Department’s traffic safety coordinator, said officers are reminding motorist of the consequences of impaired driving.
On Monday (December 20), officers from the Traffic Enforcement Unit conducted a DUI checkpoint in Hilo. They were supported by Sheri Sagayaga, the interim Big Island coordinator for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Blattler, who represented the Impaired Driving Task Force. Together, 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 little as $2 each and use them with participating taxi companies. For details call 961-8744 or visit http://www.heleonbus.org/shared-ride-taxi-program.
Thanks to generous contributions by various county agencies, participating liquor-serving establishments in Hilo and Kailua-Kona have been able to hand out up to two free taxi coupons per patron from Thanksgiving Day until New Year’s Day.
The checkpoint 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 27 traffic deaths so far this year, amounting to 41 percent of the total. By comparison 13 of the 22 fatalities recorded for all of last year, or 59 percent, involved alcohol use.
“Consider the options before you drink and drive, always remember to have a designated, sober and licensed driver before you start drinking,” said Blattler. “If you don’t find one; don’t take a chance—take a taxi!”