Hawai‘i Police Department
Traffic Services Section
Torey Keltner, Program Manager
On Hawai’i Island we love to celebrate the 4th of July with family, friends, food, and fireworks. Yet all too often the festivities turn tragic on the nation’s roads. This American holiday is also one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to drunk-driving crashes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, 515 people died in motor vehicle crashes over the July 4th holiday period (6 p.m. July 3 – 5:59 a.m. July 8, 2019). Of those fatalities, 198, or 38 percent, occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.
From 2015 to 2019, there were 1,339 drivers killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the 4th of July holiday period. Of those, 512, or 38 percent of the drivers killed were alcohol-impaired (Blood Alcohol Content of .08+).
Sadly, so far this year in Hawai’i County 12 people have died due to traffic crashes. Every one of the crashes was a tragedy that effected many people and none of them were acceptable.
If you host a celebration have a plan for a sober driver to get anyone who has been drinking alcohol or using any intoxicating substance home safely. If you’ve been drinking, please don’t drive. If you need, call a friend for a ride or call a taxi or a ride service to pick you up. We all need to do our part to keep our roads safe. If you see a drunk driver, call the Police at (808) 935-3311 or if it’s an emergency call 911. Our friends, family, and especially our keiki, need us to be good examples and celebrate this 4th of July responsibly. Remember, “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.”