HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC SERVICES SECTION
SERGEANT DEXTER VERIATO
DECEMBER 7, 2004
Big Island police have stepped up their efforts over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays to enforce laws requiring the use of seatbelts and prohibiting driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In addition, plainclothes officers will be out to enforce laws against underage drinking.
Sergeant Dexter Veriato of the Traffic Services Section said police are stepping up their enforcement efforts to help make this year’s holiday season a safe one.
Police have increased DUI checkpoints in order to cut down on impaired driving during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, Veriato said. Officers have also increased roving patrols to check seatbelt use and cut down on speeding.
Veriato said the purpose of beefing up enforcement of underage drinking laws is to apprehend potential underage drunk drivers before they get behind the wheel of a car. Police will pay special attention to parks and out-of-the-way places where young people congregate during vacation or school holidays, he said.
“We are stepping up our enforcement efforts through the upcoming holidays in order to avert needless injury and death,” Veriato said. “Because traffic is heavier than usual during this period of the year, we encourage motorists to drive courteously and responsibly so all of us may enjoy a safe and joyous holiday season.”
As of the end of November, Big Island police made 976 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Of the 39 traffic fatalities recorded so far this year, a total of 21, or 54 percent, have been related to alcohol or drugs.
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