Holiday weekends bring huge busts for police departments across the United States. Driving under the influence (DUI) checkpoints are set up at key points throughout cities to catch those who drank a little too much while partying with family, friends, coworkers, or even solo. These checkpoints are meant to stop those driving while intoxicated from causing harm to themselves, others, and the world around them. Regardless of what you think about these checkpoints, they work.
In Hawaii over Labor Day weekend between August 29 and September 4, 2016, 29 people were arrested for DUI at various checkpoints by Hawaii Island police officers. Seven of those 29 drivers were involved in traffic accidents. Two of the drivers arrested were under the age of 21. Kona district saw 13 people arrested, South Hilo district saw 11 people arrested, and Puna district saw five people arrested over the time period.
In Hawaii this year, there has been an increase in last year’s DUI arrests by 1.1 percent. There have been 720 DUI arrests in the state compared to only 712 in the same time frame in 2015. There have been 947 accidents, which is also up 8.1 percent for 2016 compared to the previous year. There has also been an increase in fatal traffic accidents this year. With 20 official fatal traffic accidents this year in Hawaii, that’s an increase of 33.3 percent over last year as well.
With the increase of fatalities and DUI arrests, patrols and roadblocks will continue throughout the island in the coming months to help prevent accidents and loss of life. This is one of the reasons why DUI checkpoints are necessary, not just during holiday weekends. Unfortunately, they work as is seen during this Labor Day weekend in Hawaii. The numbers don’t lie about how effective they can be to helps top DUIs and other traffic issues.