Anti-DUI campaign set for holdiays 12-16-03

PHONE: 961-2305
DECEMBER 16, 2003


Big Island police have joined in a nationwide campaign to protect motorists from drunk drivers.

As part of the “You Drink & Drive, You Lose” national crackdown, the Hawaii County Police Department will be working with the State Department of Transportation to protect motorists and their families over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

From December 19, 2003, to January 4, 2004, Big Island officers will be out in force conducting sobriety checkpoints and patrolling streets and highways looking for drunk drivers, said Sergeant Randy Apele, head of the Traffic Services Section.

“Our message is simple: ‘You Drink and Drive, You Lose,'” Apele said.

He noted that drivers arrested for drunk driving “can lose their licenses, lose time from their jobs and lose money in high fines and court costs.”

“They may also possibly face imprisonment for repeat offenses, assault and negligent homicide,” he said.

“If you refuse a blood alcohol concentration test, you can lose your license on the spot. You’ll have to spend your money on bail instead of holiday gifts.”

Apele concluded: “If you find it hard to figure out whether you’ve had too many drinks to drive, don’t risk it. The chances are that if you’re feeling ‘buzzed,’ you are too impaired to drive safely.

“Risk driving at an illegal level, and the chances are law enforcement will catch you.”

Apele suggested that party hosts include alcohol-free beverages and protein-rich foods.

He offered this advice to partygoers:

  • If you plan to drive, don’t drink.
  • If you plan to drink, before partying, choose a sober designated driver.
  • If you drink, take a taxicab, ask a friend to drive you home or spend the night where the activity is being held.
  • Report impaired drivers to the police.
  • Always wear your safety belt. It’s your best defense against an impaired driver.

The “You Drink & Drive, You Lose” campaign, launched in December 1999, is a comprehensive prevention effort focused on highly visible efforts by criminal justice agencies to deter drunk driving and save lives.

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