New numbers show tougher enforcement of stay-at-home violators

Published: Apr. 9, 2020 at 9:30 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - After a weeks-long period of “education,” new numbers show authorities are already cracking down on violators of the stay-at-home order.

As of Wednesday, Honolulu police officers arrested 41 people for violating the stay-at-home order since it went into effect. They’ve also issued 700 citations and have given more than 5,400 verbal warnings over the last three weeks.

Honolulu police say they are phasing out warnings, and plan to issue more citations if people continue to violate the order.

“These executive orders have the full force and effect of law,” said deputy Police Chief John McCarthy. “Now’s the time for enforcement."

The statewide stay-at-home order went into effect March 25, dramatically altering daily life in Hawaii.

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Those who violate the order face up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Other counties have also pledged stricter enforcement of the stay-at-home rules.

On the Big Island, officers arrested 14 people so far — eight of whom were in South Hilo — and 32 people received citations. In all, there have been 50 violations.

On Kauai, police have already been stopping drivers at checkpoints.

According to The Garden Island newspaper, three people were arrested for violating the state’s 14-day quarantine order.

Kauai police have also issued 60 citations to people breaking the emergency orders in place — most were given to people breaking curfew.

Of the citations, 15 of those were issued to beachgoers. The number of visitors on the beach have dropped from last year — from more than 150,000 to 10,187 in the last two weeks.

And Maui Mayor Mike Victorino said he hopes to conduct checkpoints.

“We are looking (at) roving road blocks like we do for DUI,” Victorino said. “We have been very patient. But now, we have to be a lot strictier.”

Meanwhile, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said it has cited 34 people hanging out in state parks.

On Oahu, a dozen of those citations were given out at Diamond Head, which remains closed.

And on Kauai, 10 people were cited for entering closed areas, including Kalalau, Polihale and Wailua River state parks.

The story will be updated.

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