Police announce DUI checkpoints 10-31-05

PHONE: 961-2305
OCTOBER 31, 2005



Big Island Police have announced that they have joined the other three counties in a nationwide campaign to discourage drunk driving again this holiday season by setting up at least one random sobriety checkpoint a week.

The effort, called the “Fifty-Two-Twelve Campaign,” is year long and will run through September 30, 2006, in an attempt to reduce alcohol-related fatalities and reduce the Big Island’s traffic fatality count, which stands at 29 so far this year. This is part of the National Campaign called, “You Drink You Drive You Loose”.

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, in addition to other on-going speed and seat belt checkpoints.

Sergeant Dexter Veriato, head of the Traffic Services Section noted that drunk driving was responsible for at least thirteen of the 29 traffic deaths so far this year, amounting to 44 percent of the total. By comparison, eight of the 36 fatalities recorded for all of last year, or 22 percent, were attributed to drunk driving.

“We are hoping this campaign will cause motorists to realize the dangers of driving under the influence,” Veriato said.” Although the overall number of traffic fatalities compared to last year is down, DUI related fatalities are up by 22 percent. Besides the financial costs, these crashes cause untold trauma to the families of motorists killed by drunk drivers.”

“Traffic fatalities related to drunk driving are easily avoidable. 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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