HONOLULU (KHON2) — New Year’s Eve is a time to go to parties with friends and enjoy the spectacular fireworks shows.

It is also a time to be reminded that operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal, said the Hawai’i Department of Transportation.

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HDOT said that it may be necessary to plan your commutes and places of destination ahead of time in order to avoid holiday obstacles.

“As a state we have overcome many obstacles together, including the pandemic,” Hawaii Department of Transportation Director, Ed Sniffen said. “Now, let’s put an end to senseless acts of endangerment and begin 2023 on a positive path. Let’s focus on good driving behaviors, avoiding speeding, drunk/drugged driving, distracted driving and running red lights.”

In 2021, nearly half of all drivers involved in fatal crashes tested positive for drugs and/or alcohol, according to HDOT. Officials pointed out that this is a steady increase since 2019.

HDOT said that in 2019, nineteen percent of fatal crashes involved at least one driver impaired with alcohol and/or drugs. In 2020, that increased to 25 percent with 2021 showing an increase to 43 percent.

HDOT also said that after a Hawai’i attitudinal survey of 516 people, they found that 21 percent would choose to drive under the influence of alcohol.

Sniffen said, “There is no excuse for driving impaired when there are many other options available, such as designating a sober driver, using a rideshare service, leaving your keys at home or staying where you are. Let’s make the responsible choice not to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, hold each other accountable and help one another to get home safely.”

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In order to curb some avoidable accidents, HDOT is installing No Right Turn on Red signs at intersections that have a higher average of accidents, raised crosswalks and red-light safety cameras.