Lawmakers hope to toughen DUI laws

  • Carol McNamee, founder of the MADD Hawaii Chapter, speaks at the podium during a press conference at the state Capitol with state legislators calling for tougher DUI regulations in the state. (Associated Press)

HILO — Lawmakers vowed changes in reaction to a traffic collision near Ala Moana Center at the end of January that killed three pedestrians and injured several others.

“These types of deaths are avoidable. It’s frustrating, especially when you know people who have been involved, and we all do,” said Rep. Chris Lee, a Windward Oahu Democrat and the House Judiciary chairman. “When someone is under the influence and kills someone while driving, it is not an accident. It is murder.”

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Sen. Lorraine Inouye, a Big Island Democrat and Senate Transportation chairwoman, said she thinks there will be “a lot of action strengthening drunken and impaired driving laws this session.”

“Our communities need to be directly involved in community safety,” Inouye said.

The group asked the public for ideas and detailed some bills already introduced and under consideration, including:

— HB703: Which would prohibit any person convicted of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant or habitually operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant from purchasing or publicly consuming alcohol for a period of three years following conviction or administrative license revocation.

— HB753: Which would require compliance with the ignition interlock program before an interlock device is removed. Allows for a constant sobriety program.

— SB641: Which would add the definition of “substance abuse” and amend the definitions of “drug” and “substance” for purposes of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant violations.

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— SB645: Which would require that the revocation of license period be tolled for any period in which the person does not have an ignition interlock device installed on a vehicle owned or operated by the person. Establishes requirements for removal of the ignition interlock device. Allows a defendant to enroll in an alcohol or substance abuse education or treatment program, or a sobriety program.

— HB757: Which would require the Department of Transportation and the county transportation departments to adopt a “Vision Zero” policy that seeks to prevent and ultimately eliminate all traffic fatalities through a combination of engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency response strategies that focus on equity.

  1. KonaDude February 7, 2019 3:59 am

    How would you enforce HB703(.Y.)


    1. LimeyinHi February 7, 2019 7:51 am

      ‘Show me your papers’ You can hear the jackboots already. A police state is on the way.


      1. Billy Batts February 7, 2019 8:14 am

        “I only have a pipe man”, “Then you better come with me”


  2. Sara Steiner-jackson February 7, 2019 8:36 am

    the ADLRO scam continues…..


  3. LimeyinHi February 7, 2019 9:53 am

    Drinking is not a crime…yet! Driving above 0.8 is a crime, but how am I supposed to know whether I am a 0.7 or a 0.9? The only people with a gauge is the police. How about a ‘breath o meter’ in every bar and restaurant? At least then I would be aware of my legal intoxication. I am not a drunk but wine with a celebratory dinner is very nice. Two glasses and I am paranoid about police road blocks ( illegal though they are [police state already]). If I could check at the restaurant before I left I might go out more often. We could also use a reliable public transport system, local buses running through midnight, much less expensive than taxis and uber. But no, ‘ve vill enforce the law’. This state is all about enforcement and not solutions. Bring on the self driving cars, let them get the tickets.


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