5-24-24 With 100% Increase in Traffic Fatalities in 2024, Police Urge Public to Drive Safely Memorial Day Weekend

Hawaiʻi Police Department
Traffic Services Section
Program Manager Torey Keltner
Phone: (808) 961-2305

Media Release

With 18 traffic fatalities thus far in 2024, a 100% increase from nine fatalities this time last year, Hawai‘i Police Department urges motorists to drive safely and soberly during this Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Impaired driving continues to be a problem on our island highways. In recent years drug impairment has been a factor in 50 percent of Hawaiʻi Island traffic fatalities with 38 of the 76 traffic deaths in 2021 through 2023 due to drug impairment.  
“There is absolutely no excuse to drive impaired on any substance,” said Torey Keltner, Hawai‘i Police Department’s Traffic Services Section Program Manager. “It’s very simple, if you are impaired, don’t drive. Period.”

Hawai‘i Police Department will be out in force and on the lookout for impaired drivers this holiday weekend.

Hawai‘i Island police remind the public of these safety tips.

●    Something as simple as cold medication or an over-the-counter sleep aid can impair your driving, which may lead to you being arrested for a DUI. Impaired? Do not drive.

●    If you plan on going to a party or event, plan ahead and designate a sober driver or use public transportation or a ride-sharing service. Someone who’s affected by drugs or alcohol shouldn’t be making decisions about driving; that’s why having a plan is key.

●    DUI violations are not just for drunk driving. Remember, any impairment, including drugs, is illegal if you are operating a vehicle. If you are impaired by any substance, do not drive.

The Cost of Impaired Driving

●    On average, a DUI could set you back $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, and more.

●    If you’re caught driving under the influence of any impairing substance, you can face jail time. Imagine trying to explain that to your friends and family or your place of employment.

●    Drug-impaired driving could cause you to lose your driver’s license and your vehicle. This could stop you from getting to work, resulting in lost wages and, potentially, job loss.

Plan Before You Party

●    If you have chosen to use an impairing substance, do not drive. Passengers should never ride with an impaired driver. If you think a driver may be impaired, do not get in the car.

●    Do you have a friend who is about to drive while impaired by drugs? Take the keys away and arrange to get them home safely. Don’t worry about offending someone — they’ll thank you later.

●    If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact the police at (808) 935-3311.

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