Hawaiʻi Police Department
Traffic Services Section
Torey D. Keltner, Program Manager
Phone: (808) 961-2305
If you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, make sure you and your friends stay safe by remembering one important piece of advice: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. This means that if you plan to drink and you take prescription drugs, it’s essential that you plan ahead for a sober ride home. Remember: A sober driver is one who hasn’t had any alcohol – or drugs. To help keep your community safe, Hawai‘i Police Departmentis teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to spread the message about the dangers of impaired driving.
“We understand people are looking for a reason to celebrate, and we want our community members to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, but we also want to impress upon everyone the importance of safe driving,” said Torey Keltner, Hawai‘i Police Department Traffic Services Program Manager. “If you’ve been drinking or taking drugs, make the right choice to find a sober driver to get you and your friends home safely.”
Drug–impaired and drunk driving is a problem on our island highways. Whether the drug is legally prescribed or an illegal drug, driving while drug-impaired poses a threat to the driver, vehicle passengers, and other road users.
Last year on Hawai‘i Island, 21 of the 26 traffic fatalities were due to impairment, either drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both.
“People need to know that they can go out for a night of fun and return home safely by ensuring they have a sober driver take them home,” said Keltner. Don’t be the reason someone — including yourself — doesn’t get home. Don’t let St. Patrick’s Day become an anniversary of a tragic night.”
If you’re the designated driver, make sure you don’t drink so you can keep that promise of safety to yourself and your passengers. It can be a long night, but people are counting on you, not to mention the other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the streets. Take the role of designated driver seriously — people are relying on you.
Plan a Sober Ride
Before ever heading out, it’s vital to plan ahead. Follow these ideas to ensure you and your fellow partygoers live to celebrate another St. Patrick’s Day.
● If you plan on going out, plan ahead and designate a sober driver or use public transportation or a ride-sharing service. Someone who’s affected by drugs or alcohol shouldn’t be making decisions about driving; that’s why having a plan is key.
● DUI violations are not just for drunk driving. Remember, any impairment, including drugs, is illegal if you are operating a vehicle. If you are impaired by any substance, do not drive.
● Something as simple as cold medication or an over-the-counter sleep aid can impair your driving, which may lead to you being arrested for a DUI. The effects of impaired driving are amplified if you combine drugs and alcohol. Impaired? Do not drive.
The Cost of Impaired Driving
● On average, a DUI could set you back $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, and more.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.
The Crime Stoppers TV Program is available on-demand from Nā Leo TV.