Holiday DUI patrols

As Americans hit the road this holiday season to celebrate with family and friends, it’s important that we all drive safely and safe driving means sober driving. The Hawaii Police Department will participate in a national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over holiday campaign, (Dec. 13-31), to raise public awareness of the dangers of drunk driving. During the campaign, officers will increase DUI checkpoints and roving patrols looking for drunk drivers.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over drives home why it is so critical to always drive sober. Over the past five years, an average of 300 people died in drunk-driving crashes during the Christmas through New Year holiday period. In December 2016 alone, 781 people lost their lives in drunk-driving crashes.

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To support Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, NHTSA released a new advertisement called “No Big Deal,” which vividly illustrates the destruction caused by a drunk driver. This ad is accompanied by a 360-degree virtual reality web experience of a drunk driving crash scene (nhtsa.gov/crash), allows the viewer to interact with first responders and understand how one selfish choice to drink and drive can affect others.

The “No Big Deal” VR experience also highlights another consequence of drinking and driving and getting arrested. Law enforcement around the country will be making a special effort during Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over to find and arrest drunk drivers. The average arrest, including attorney fees, fines, court costs, and other expenses, can set you back $10,000. About one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.

Protect yourself and others this holiday season by always driving sober. For many, the holidays and holiday parties involve alcohol. Be honest with yourself about how you celebrate, and make a plan to get home without getting behind the wheel. Designate a driver, take public transportation, or use Uber.

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This is the season of giving, so give yourself and all your neighbors the gift of safer roads by driving sober over the holidays. Carry that safer driving habit into the new year by resolving to always drive sober. If we all do that, we will celebrate the holidays safely and ring in a better and safer 2018.

The Hawaii Police Department wishes everyone a happy and safe holiday season.