873 motorists arrested in 2002 for drunk driving 01-07-03

PHONE: 961-2305
JANUARY 7, 2003


Big Island police arrested 873 motorists for drunk driving last year.

This represents a 5 percent increase over the 835 motorists arrested for driving under the influence in 2001.

According to Sergeant Randy Apele of the Traffic Services Section, a total of 189 drivers caught for DUI, or 22 percent, were arrested after they had been involved in traffic accidents. In addition, 103 of the drivers, or 12 percent, were under the age of 21.

Police recorded 28 traffic fatalities in 2002, compared to 31 fatalities recorded in 2001 — a decrease of 10 percent.

There were 11 DUI-related fatalities recorded last year, compared to 15 reported in 2001, a decrease of 27 percent. There were no drug-related fatalities last year, compared to three reported in 2001.

There were 2,260 major accidents last year, compared to 2,276 recorded for the same time in 2001, a decrease of 0.7 percent.

Apele noted that of the drivers nabbed for drunk driving last year, 345 were also arrested for failure to have no-fault insurance, 293 for having no driver’s license and 72 for having an open vessel in their vehicle. In addition, 35 were also arrested for promoting detrimental drugs and seven for promoting dangerous drugs.

A breakdown of last year’s 873 DUI arrests by police district shows that Kona had 392 arrests; South Hilo, 203; Puna, 122; South Kohala, 75; Ka’u, 34; North Kohala, 29; Hamakua, 13; and North Hilo, 5.

Apele said police are continuing to crack down on drunk drivers in its efforts to save lives.

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