HONOLULU (KHON2) — During the middle of the pandemic when restaurants, bars, and eateries were asked to close their doors and only offer take-out items alcohol to-go orders grew in popularity. 

Before the pandemic, many local authorities had banned bars and restaurants from selling liquor to-go with only a handful of exceptions.

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However, since the temporary legalization of alcohol to-go, some states made these regulations permanent, including Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky and Ohio.

Other states are now having the debate whether to pass similar laws. Laguna Treatment Hospital conducted a study asking their participants whether alcohol to-go should be legal.

Overall, 43% of Americans think alcohol to-go should be permanently legalized. However, those in Hawaii didn’t agree. Only 12% of Hawaii residents thought alcohol to-go should be legalized. 

The study broke down these findings by age group with the highest percentage of those who support the law being 25 to 34-year-olds. The second-highest proportion of supporters was the age group of 35 – 44-year-olds.

Their study also revealed 85% of respondents thought that the biggest disadvantage to the permanent legalization of to-go drinks would be an increase in drunk driving incidents. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 28 people in the United States die in drunk driving accidents every day. That equates to one person every 52 minutes.

Law enforcement here in Hawaii have been cracking down on drunk driving throughout the pandemic setting up DUI checkpoints at various locations throughout the year. 

Hawaii Police Department wants to remind the public there are other alternatives to drinking and driving, whether it be a designated driver or a ride-sharing service.

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According to HPD they made about 1,057 DUI arrests in 2021 compared to 993 during the same period in 2020 which is an increase of 6.4%.