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After spate of deadly crashes, Hawaii Island police to beef up DUI enforcement

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Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 10:48 AM HST|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 1:18 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Island police are beefing up DUI and speed enforcement after four people died in crashes in the past week.

The most recent, a two-vehicle crash in Pepeekeo on Saturday, resulted in one person being arrested for DUI.

County authorities say they have been dealing with an uptick in DUI crashes.

“We’ve also seen a significant increase with operating under the influence intoxicated, primarily with drugs, and a combination of drugs and alcohol.” Police Sgt. Thomas Koyanagi said. “That was what we saw that we did not expect. That the increasing number of DUIs was also contributing to a lot of people that were under the influence of either legal or illegal substances.”

Hawaii Island has had 20 traffic fatalities so far this year, compared to 12 this time last year.

“The main contributing factor for the fatalities is the people that are operating in the area that are exceeding the speed, and also operating while impaired,” Koyanagi said. “So right now, the main focus would be speed enforcement throughout at least through the West Hawaii area where we see the numbers increasing.”

With many of the crashes involving motorcycles, the Hawaii County Police Department is also encouraging people to watch out for smaller vehicles on the roadways.

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