HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Maui Police Department (MPD) hosted the third annual Hannah Brown Memorial Impaired Driving Awareness Checkpoint on Wednesday, Nov. 24.
The checkpoint took place on Kuihelani Highway, near the area where 19-year-old Hannah Brown was killed in a preventable traffic crash.
On the morning of June 23, 2019, police said a drunk driver was traveling in the wrong direction of Kuihelani Highway when she hit a Honda Civic head-on. Brown was in the passenger seat of the Honda Civic, and she died at the scene.
Every year since then, Maui police holds the annual Hannah Brown Memorial Impaired Driving Awareness Checkpoint.
“We’ve lost far too many people on Maui county roads over the last three years due to impaired driving,” said Lt. William Hankins, Traffic Division Commander for the MPD.
Hankins also said 2021 has been a terrifying year on the roads as fatal vehicle crashes are currently up 150% in Maui County compared to the same time in 2020; more than 60% of those crashes are due to speeding and impaired driving.
“In my 30 years of doing this, I’ve never seen a year where our DUI numbers have gone up so much. And then our fatalities have gone up so much,” Hankins explained. “A lot of it I think has to do with COVID fatigue, and we’re seeing a lot of people on the road that are just rushing to get the doctor’s appointments and then making bad decisions on the road.”
Brown’s family and friends attended the checkpoint and hopes no other families will have to endure the pain that they did. They also wanted to raise awareness about the dangers of driving impaired.
Hankins’ message to the public ahead of thanksgiving is simple: do not speed, and do not drive under the influence.
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“We don’t want any empty spaces at the dinner table. This is the time where families are supposed to get together and celebrate not missing somebody due to someone’s selfish behavior or speeding and drinking and driving,” Hankins added.