‘Don’t be that person’: Grieving families plea for sober New Year’s driving
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Families who’ve lost a loved one to a drunk driver have a message for New Year revelers: Think of them and their pain before getting behind the wheel this New Year’s weekend.
It will be Shayna Park’s second New Year without her big sister Azalia.
“Every holiday season, it doesn’t even feel like a celebration,” said Park. “It feels like reliving a terrible tragedy every single year.”
21-year-old Azalia was on her way to see the holiday light show at Aloha Stadium in December 2020 when she was struck by alleged drunk driver, Jayson Abad.
She died of her injuries three days later.
To help partygoers get home safely, the Park family began offering a ride share service, Safe Ride Hawaii.
The non-profit provides a driver to bring you and your car home.
“It’s not worth risking someone’s life and I’d hate to see any more lives being taken,” said Park.
It’s a potentially life-saving resource that parents like Stuart Hanakahi encourage more people to use.
“Don’t be that person that’ll take that happiness away from their holidays,” said Hanakahi.
This is Hanakahi’s first holiday season without his daughter Leah and her mom, Kelsey Palisbo.
In February, a speeding car plowed into their parked car in Nanakuli. Police said alcohol was a factor in the crash.
“Being it’s the holidays it’s supposed to be time of gathering and enjoying each other’s company, you know, being around family, but don’t be that person that will jeopardize that,” said Hanakahi. “Drink responsibly, please.”
Hawaii News Now is still waiting for HPD’s DUI Statistics, but the police chief says they’ll have impaired driving checkpoints throughout the weekend.
To reserve a ride with Safe Ride Hawaii, go to SafeRideHawaii.org.
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