By Sgt. Nick Krau, MPD DUI Task Force
The Fourth of July holiday is a favorite time of year for many Americans. Backyard parties, good food, and fireworks. But the celebrating unfortunately turns deadly when people drive after drinking alcohol. Impaired driving is a preventable problem on Independence Day each year.
In 2013, Forbes magazine named the Independence Day holiday “the most dangerous holiday of the year.” Nationwide in 2013, there were 512 people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
This Fourth of July weekend the Maui Police Department is ramping up our enforcement activities to make our roads safer for everyone with zero tolerance for those who drive impaired. Throughout the county, drivers should expect to see our officers out in force, cracking down on impaired driving through increased sobriety checkpoints, roving and saturation patrols, and other enforcement activities.
Unfortunately, this increased enforcement is necessary, impaired driving remains a problem and we will be out in full force, aggressively targeting those who put lives in danger.
If you drive impaired, you not only put your life and the lives of others at risk. Arrested impaired drivers face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs, lost time at work, etc.
All of us at MPD are asking for the public’s assistance in helping to keep our roadways safe by following these simple tips:
- Plan a safe way home before you start drinking.
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver. If you wait until you’re impaired, you’re more likely to make a bad decision.
- If you’ve been drinking, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member.
- If you see an impaired driver on the road, call the Maui Police Department’s non-emergency number at 244-6400 to report it. You could save a life.
- If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, be a true friend and take their keys. Help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
Remember, impaired driving crashes are 100-percent preventable.