HONOLULU(KHON2) — Drunk driving arrests are ramping up once more after a dip in 2020.
Courts are additionally not providing a plea deal for these caught driving beneath the affect.
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The pandemic pressured everybody to remain house and shut the whole lot down — together with the courts. Now that issues are getting again to regular, police say individuals are driving drunk at comparable charges to earlier than the pandemic.
Drunk driving is a significant issue within the islands.
“In 2020, the pandemic yr, there was a pleasant little dip. Now, 2021 we’re again up,” HPD Site visitors Division performing captain James Slayter defined.
Slayter stated there have been greater than 1500 DUI arrests within the first 5 months of 2019. That quantity dropped to 999 in 2020. There have been virtually 1300 arrests by means of Tuesday, June 1, in 2021.
“It is a matter in Hawaii that we have to handle,” Slayter stated.
Mom’s Towards Drunk Driving (MADD) chair-elect and former HPD Maj. Kurt Kendro stated it takes greater than police roadblocks to unravel the issue.
“We’d like extra public training, we’d like extra public motion,” Kendro defined. “And we’d like legislation enforcement. It’s type of a three-fold strategy to it to forestall impaired drivers on the roadways. However finally, it comes all the way down to the person and them to not drive whereas impaired.”
Drunk drivers additionally have to be held accountable. That turned an issue when courts closed throughout the pandemic.
“Our biggest concern was that we might have 1000 circumstances of people that had been arrested for drunk driving throughout the pandemic, that these circumstances can be dismissed due to courtroom congestion,” Kendro stated.
The prosecuting lawyer’s workplace created the DUI pilot program and allowed first-time offenders to plead responsible to the lesser cost of reckless driving, which has comparable punishments as a DUI however shouldn’t be an alcohol associated offense.
The plea deal required defendants to put in an ignition interlock of their automotive for a yr, pay $1,000 positive and attend a 14-hour alcohol evaluation class.
It ran between February and Might 2021. Anybody arrested after Monday, Might 31, was ineligible for it.
The prosecutor’s workplace says 1,234 first-time DUI defendants took the deal.
Kendro says MADD is comfortable drunk drivers didn’t get off scot-free and he needs to share this message.
“The general public group has to grasp that drunk driving is critical — folks die on account of impaired drivers on our roadways. And we have to stop it from occurring.”