HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
OFFICE OF THE POLICE CHIEF
NOVEMBER 10, 2004
The Big Island has joined the other three counties in a nationwide campaign to discourage drunk driving by setting up at least one random sobriety checkpoint a week.
The effort, called the “Fifty-Two-Twelve Campaign,” will run through September 30, 2005, in an attempt to reduce alcohol-related fatalities and reduce the Big Island’s traffic fatality count, which stands at 36 so far this year.
The sobriety checkpoints will be accompanied by public advisories and service announcements to discourage drunk driving, especially among younger drivers within the county.
During the campaign, funded by the State Department of Transportation, the Hawaii County Police Department will implement one grant-funded sobriety checkpoint each week in a district chosen randomly.
Police Chief Lawrence K. Mahuna noted that drunk driving was responsible for at least eight of the 36 traffic deaths so far this year, amounting to 22 percent of the total. By comparison, six of the 35 fatalities recorded for all of last year, or 17 percent, were attributed to drunk driving.
“We are hoping this campaign will cause motorists to realize the dangers of driving under the influence,” Mahuna said. “Besides the financial costs, driving under the influence causes untold trauma to the families of motorists killed by drunk drivers.
“Traffic fatalities related to drunk driving are easily avoidable, and the simple act of taking a cab or having a friend drive you home after drinking will go a long way to bring down the death toll on our Big Island roads and highways.”
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