Drunk Driving Campaign Takes on a New Level

Jason Rod
Jason Rod
Scott Ishikawa
Scott Ishikawa

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Honolulu police are out in full force holding DUI checkpoints throughout the island. It's part of a drunk driving campaign which wraps up this labor day weekend.

Police won't say where they're conducting their DUI checkpoints. They like to keep it a mystery so they can catch drivers off guard. Although the campaign is about to end, the state's battle against drunk drivers is about to get more fierce.

In the fight to keep our roads safe, state leaders have tightened their grip on Hawaii's drunk driving problem. One of their tactics is the summer D2 campaign.

"The way it works is that when they come to the front door they say this is my designated driver we go ahead we have a stamp for them and then all throughout the night, all their sodas are free, anything they want," says Jason Rod, Operations Manager of Ocean Club which participates in D2.

Another tactic - a new law that took effect July 1st. It imposes stricter penalties against drunk drivers whose blood alcohol level is almost double the legal limit.

Now, a new strategy - state leaders are turning to technology. The Department of Transportation says it plans to launch an ignition interlock program.

"If you're convicted of a DUI, you're going to have to breathe in one of those breath analyzers to start your car," says Scott Ishikawa of the Department of Transportation.

DOT says the ignition interlock program is already taking place in 46 states.

"There's even a small video camera from what I understand that makes sure you're the one taking the breath and not somebody else doing it for you," says Ishikawa.

Transportation leaders say as the DUI problem evolves, different solutions are needed, and one of them is technology.

DOT plans to introduce the ignition interlock program when the Legislature goes back in session. If it passes, drunk drivers will have more reason to think twice about getting behind the wheel.