In an effort to stem drunk driving, the Honolulu Police Department conducts multiple DUI checkpoints across the island. Their focus is on three-day weekends and holidays. However, the effectiveness of this initiative has not led to reductions in arrests and fatalities.
According to the Honolulu Police Department report, DUI arrests increased from 2,467 in 2021 to 2,548 in 2022. Fatal crashes in 2022 numbered 55, an increase from the previous year’s 47 deaths.
While not an astronomical difference, any increase in drunk driving arrests and fatalities is troubling.
Serious criminal consequences
The decision to get behind the wheel of a car after a night of drinking carries serious consequences that can both change and end lives. Freedoms and reputations are at stake. Convictions bring countless penalties.
For many Hawaiians, ignition interlock devices (IID) are a significant part of the punitive measures imposed. IIDs prevent drivers from starting vehicles if the smallest amount of alcohol is detected in their systems.
A new law in Hawaii can not only protect the public but also provide help to first-time DUI offenders. Act 94 provides offenders with shorter driver’s license suspensions if they install and use the IIDs for six to nine months. Additional language increases the consequences of tampering with the lens that takes a picture of the driver.
Since its enactment, MADD announced that IID prevented cars from starting due to alcohol consumption numbered more than 128,600. The Department of Transportation also revealed that DUI arrests in the 50th state reduced slightly over the past decade.
While the stats paint a mixed message, drunk driving is a problem in Hawaii and nationwide. Hawaiians should know that a DUI arrest does not mean a conviction is automatic. Help from a criminal defense attorney can mean the difference between a guilty and not guilty verdict.