Police join national campaign against drunk driving 06-24-03

PHONE: 961-2305
JUNE 24, 2003


The Hawaii County Police Department is taking part in a national crackdown on drunk driving over the holiday weekend.

From June 27 to July 13, 2003, Big Island police will be out in full force conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols throughout the county, said Randy K. Apele, head of the Traffic Services Section.

Dubbed “You Drink & Drive, You Lose,” the campaign aims to protect citizens from drunk drivers during the long July 4th weekend.

Nationally, fatalities in alcohol-related crashes are on the rise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2002, a total of 17,970 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents, representing about 42 percent of the 42,850 total traffic fatalities.

That same year on the Big Island, there were three alcohol-related fatalities, accounting for 11 percent of the 28 persons killed in traffic accidents.

So far this year, there has been only one confirmed alcohol-related fatality, accounting for 7 percent of the total of 14 persons who have died in traffic accidents on the Big Island.

To help raise awareness about the “You Drink & Drive, You Lose” campaign, the U.S. Congress provided the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with $11 million to produce and place national advertisements in English and Spanish to coincide with the crackdown. The ad will run until July 13, 2003, on national networks and programs primarily viewed by males aged 21-34, which research shows are the most likely to drive while drunk.

Apele reminded motorists to follow these guidelines to assure a safe holiday:

  • Don’t risk it. If you plan to drive, don’t drink.
  • Choose a sober designated driver before going out.
  • Take a taxi or ask a friend to drive you home.
  • Spend the night where the activity is being held.
  • Report impaired drivers to the police.

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