HONOLULU (KHON2) — As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, police across the islands are reminding motorists to drive responsibly on Thursday.

The Maui Police Department (MPD) said they will be conducting sobriety patrols at various locations throughout the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Drivers on Maui are to expect a zero-tolerance approach to impaired driving and to also see an increase in checkpoints every weekend.

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“We understand people are looking for a reason to celebrate, and we want our community members to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, but we also want to impress upon everyone the importance of safe driving,” said Torey Keltner, Hawai‘i Police Department Traffic Services Program Manager.

The Honolulu Police Department has been setting up impaired driver checkpoints at unannounced times and locations on Oahu and Saint Patrick’s Day is no exception.

Police’s warning also pointed out the spike in traffic fatalities.

According to police, 21 of the 26 traffic fatalities that happened in 2021 on Hawai’i Island were due to impairment, either drugs, alcohol or both.

People are advised to plan ahead if they have intentions of drinking or taking prescription drugs. Even a simple cold medication or an over-the-counter sleep aid can lead a driver to possibly be arrested for DUI.

“People need to know that they can go out for a night of fun and return home safely by ensuring they have a sober driver take them home,” said Keltner.

Anybody who is a designated driver is asked to keep that promise of safety for themselves and for the passengers.

“Don’t be the reason someone — including yourself — doesn’t get home. Don’t let St. Patrick’s Day become an anniversary of a tragic night,” said Keltner.

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Police said that on average a DUI could add up to $10,000 in fines, court costs, and more.