Maui News

Mothers Against Drunk Driving Urges Community to Make Plans For a Designated Driver Before Halloween Weekend

October 28, 2021, 7:08 PM HST
* Updated October 29, 9:01 AM
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Inaugural Hannah Brown Memorial Impaired Driving Awareness Checkpoint. (11.22.19) PC: Wendy Osher

Mothers Against Drunk Driving is urging everyone to make a plan for a designated driver before Halloween weekend begins. MADD is concerned anytime a holiday falls on a weekend when the risk of drunk driving deaths and injuries is higher.

“If you plan to consume alcohol or any other drugs plan ahead for your non-drinking, unimpaired driver or ride share at the same time you’re planning for your party,” said Theresa Paulette, MADD Hawaiʻi Victim Services Specialist. “The key is to plan your ride before you find yourself in a dangerous situation, putting your life and the lives of others at risk.”

Drunk driving is the leading cause of death and injuries on our nation’s roads, killing 10,000 people every year and injuring 300,000 more. Drivers are increasingly testing positive for other impairing substances and multiple substances. According to NHTSA, between 2009 and 2018 the presence of marijuana nearly doubled in drivers who were killed in crashes and were tested for marijuana. Of fatally injured drivers who were tested for the presence of drugs in 2018, 46% tested positive.

Maui Police launch their holiday enforcement campaign on Friday, Oct. 29, with increased saturation patrols.  To date, Maui has had 478 impaired driving arrests (which include 20 habitual impaired driving arrests).  That’s up 15% so far this year.  Maui County has also seen a 133% increase in fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2021, with 64% being attributed to both speeding and impaired drivers.

It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol and other drugs – legal and illegal – in every state, and drunk or drug-impaired driving poses a threat to the driver, passengers and everyone else on the road. Marijuana, for example, has been shown to slow reaction times, impair cognitive performance and make it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their lane. Combining marijuana with alcohol is even more dangerous.

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“Early estimates for 2020 and 2021 are showing an increase in deaths and injuries caused by impaired driving and other dangerous driving behaviors like speeding and not using seatbelts. All of these tragedies are 100% preventable. We are asking everyone to do their part,” said MADD National President Alex Otte.

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Tips for a safe Halloween:

  • Plan ahead and designate a non-drinking, unimpaired driver, use rideshare or public transportation.
  • Always wear your seatbelt and make sure your passengers are wearing theirs.
  • Never get into a car with an impaired driver or put yourself in a situation where you don’t feel safe.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement immediately.
  • If you witness someone who is about to drive impaired, attempt to stop them but be as a non-confrontational as possible. Enlist the help of others, if possible. Call law enforcement if attempts to stop them from driving fail.
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