Labor Day DUI enforcement 08-29-06

HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC SERVICES SECTION
SERGEANT DEXTER VERIATO
PHONE: 961-2305
AUGUST 29, 2006

MEDIA RELEASE

Surviving relatives of victims killed by drunk drivers will make their presence known at some of the Police Department’s DUI checkpoints over the Labor Day weekend, which runs from Friday, September 1, through Monday, September 4.

They will wave posters and help police pass out fliers with information about the tragedies surrounding the loss of their loved ones.

Theresa "Gigi" Macion lost both a brother and a sister to impaired drivers in separate crashes. Her brother, Officer Danny Padayao from the Honolulu Police Department, was killed by a drunk driver in 2001 while setting up flares to secure a traffic accident scene. Within weeks her sister, Miriam "Nani" Fernandez, was killed by an impaired driver on >>Quee>>>>n >>>>Kaahumanu Highway>>.

Both Macion and Sandra Todd will hand out fliers over the holiday weekend and appeal to the public not to drive after drinking alcohol or consuming drugs, including prescription medication.

Todd’s son, Steven Rapoza, died in a 1996 Hilo crash with a man who was under the influence of both alcohol and cocaine.

In addition to the DUI checkpoints, police plan to assign officers to roving patrols to look for people driving under the influence.

The efforts are part of a nationwide campaign called "Drunk Driving: Over the limit. Under Arrest."

Big Island Police also plan to patrol public parks to look for both underage drinkers and adults who are too intoxicated to drive home.

Jackie Murai, the Police Department’s traffic safety coordinator, said many people don’t realize how little alcohol it takes to impair someone’s driving. "A lot of people think that to be arrested for a DUI you need to be wasted," she said. "It takes as few as two drinks to be over the legal limit of .08 percent."

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