Republican Lawmakers Focus On Reducing Drunk Driving

HONOLULU (KHNL)--Republican state lawmakers announced their priorities for the upcoming legislative session. They are focusing their efforts on reducing the number of drunk drivers on our roads. They not only want to reduce drunk driving, they also are very concerned about the number of pedestrian accidents. So they are proposing new laws to make our roads safer.

Lawmakers hope this high tech alcohol detector can save lives by stopping drunk drivers before they hit the streets.

They can prevent tragedy like this scene. Last Thursday a Kailua woman was crossing the street to catch the bus when she was killed by an alleged drunk driver. Police arrested Thomas Copeland II for driving under the influence, negligent homicide and driving on a suspended license.

"The worst thing we do is take their license away and they still drive as we see in that situation there," says Representative Colleen Meyer.

Like other states, Hawaii could make these ignition interlock systems mandatory after someone's first DUI arrest.

"This would be a winner for everybody, we have kinda just been ignoring the fact that we have

a lot of drunk people driving on our roads," concludes Meyer.

The lawmakers are also drafting measures to cut down on pedestrian accidents.

The victim in this case was reportedly jaywalking when she was hit.

"We want to make sure that we raise awareness to make sure people understand that we have to look at this as everyone needs to be responsible both the pedestrian and the driver" says Representative Corrine Ching.

"There are few issues more important right now in Hawaii than pedestrian safety. There are three things we can do education for both pedestrians and drivers," believes Gordon Trimble.

Their campaign will include stiffer fines for drivers who hit pedestrians and evaluation of some of the more dangerous intersections.