More than 500 Big Islanders arrested for suspected DUI this year

Big Island police arrested 13 motorists for suspected drunken driving May 24 and Sunday. Five of the drivers were involved in traffic crashes and two were younger than age 21.

Kona officers arrested six drivers while South Hilo officers arrested five drivers and Puna officers two, according to data released Wednesday by the Hawaii Police Department.

So far this year, there have been 513 DUI arrests compared with 340 during the same period last year, according to police. Though the department notes arrests are up 44.5% year-over-year, there were fewer people on the roads during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of arrests is actually up just 7% from 469 in 2019.

There have been 328 major accidents so far this year compared with 330 during the same period last year.

As of Wednesday, 11 fatalities have been recorded on the Big Island’s public roadways this year, police said. By this time in 2020, eight people had died.

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