Lawmakers want stiffer penalties for drunk drivers

Local News

No more victims. That is the hope moving forward after Mondays deadly crash killing three pedestrians. Police say speed and alcohol were factors.

There have been eight pedestrian fatalities so far this year.

Lawmakers are in the driver’s seat. They are gunning for tougher laws for those who choose to drive under the influence.

“Right now, I can speak for myself when I say, everything is on the table, these lives are worth it,” said Representative Chris Lee. Lee heads the Judiciary Committee.

One bill legislators are introducing targets repeat offenders. It’s the first of its kind in the country to ban people convicted of DUI from buying alcohol in public.

“It would create another layer of protection. Rather than just taking someone’s car away, which they might need for a job, it would actually prohibit them from putting themselves from driving under the influence,” said Lee.

A second proposal focuses on other intoxicants.

“This adds a definition of a substance abuse and amends the definition of substance for purposes of operating a vehicle. under the influence of violations,” said Senator Lorraine R. 

HPD said there are about 4,000 alcohol impaired DUI arrests in Honolulu and 6,000 statewide each year.

They see roughly 100 to 200 drug impaired DUI arrests in Honolulu annually.

“These are not accidents. We don’t refer to them as accidents there are causative factors. People make decisions those decisions lead to consequences and sometimes those consequences are tragic in the form of critical injuries and people dying,” said Honolulu Police Department Captain Ben Moskowitz

There has been progress, but it’s not enough according to Carol McNamee of MADD.

“Even with all that we have done together we still see that as much as we pass bills as much as we talk, as much as we educate we can still have tragedies,” said McNamee.

Lawmakers hope this time it will be different.

House Bill 703 Relating to Intoxicating Liquor

Senat Bill 641 Relating to Intoxicants

House Bill 753 Relating to the Ignition Interlock Program

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