Two fatalities in suspected drunk driving crash; stricter DUI laws coming

Local News

Two people are dead after a horrific car crash on Maui, in which alcohol is believed to be a factor.

According to Maui County, a truck was travelling on Piilani Highway when it crossed the center line and hit another car. That car then crashed into a third car.

The driver of the truck who caused Sunday’s crash was taken to the hospital in serious condition.

A 49-year-old woman, Mildred Jouvenat, was found dead at the scene. A 14-year-old male passenger had been transported to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

“We are horrified, but we’re so sick and tired of being horrified at this slaughter. I don’t know… I mean it’s just not enough to say don’t drink and drive. Get a designated driver,” said Arkie Koehl, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) public policy chairman.

This makes 14 traffic deaths compared to ten at the same time last year.

Just weeks ago, Governor Ige signed a bill increasing fines for people convicted of drunk driving.

The bill increases the minimum fines for a first time offender from $150 to $250 dollars. For second time offenders, minimum fines are increased from $500 to $1,000 dollars. After that, the minimum fine starts at $2,000 dollars. The bill also increases the number of years a driver’s license can be revoked for multiple offenders, from one year to three years.

Khoel says MADD is working with lawmakers and police on changing to the law to bring stricter consequences to those caught drunk driving.

“There’s a package of new legislation being prepared right now in a special group of police and prosecutors and community stakeholders,” said Koehl. “We’re hoping to have that ready to start taking around to the legislature this autumn.”

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino released a statement on Sunday’s crash.

“Motorists who drink and get behind the wheel while impaired risk not only their own lives, but also the lives of everyone on the road. I condemn this reckless and inconsiderate behavior. Preliminary police investigation points to alcohol as being a factor in the Kihei crash.

“We must unite as a community to reclaim the safety of our roadways. We can help by immediately reporting suspected impaired or reckless driving and by taking away car keys from anyone who has been drinking and may be impaired.”

Mayor Michael Victorino

He said he will continue to support the “Vision Zero Maui Initiative,” which seeks to eliminate all traffic fatalities by 2040.

Currently Maui has a Vision Zero Safety Committee, made up of elected leaders, police and traffic engineers to take a look at how to improve dangerous roadways and intersections.

For more information, you can visit the Maui Vision Zero website here.

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