Waianae communities, families take stand against drunk drivers

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The Waianae community took a stand against drunk driving Tuesday.

Families who lost loved ones to devastating crashes along Farrington Highway spearheaded the campaign.

Members of the community, police officers, and lawmakers were out in full force with signs in Nanakuli.

Their challenge to drivers: avoid DUIs and DUI-related crashes during the month of May.

On this day two years ago, Kaulana Werner, 19, had his life cut short in a hit-and-run crash. Police say speed and alcohol were involved.

Just this past February, Daniel Mole and Jonah Ragsdale were struck and killed by a vehicle while changing a tire on the side of Farrington Highway.

This year on Oahu alone, there have been 18 traffic fatalities. More than half involved pedestrians.

Four of the crashes involved speeding, and three involved speed and alcohol.

The community-based initiative has also designated the Leeward Coast as a red zone.

“We’re taking baby steps to rid our communities of drunk drivers. It’s making our making our streets a safer place for kids,” said Ron Shimabuku, spokesman for the Werner family.

“The funeral has passed. The scattering has passed. Now the reality is setting in, so it’s an honor to be here with family and friends, because it’s such an important initiative/ We want to make sure no family will experience this,” said Richard Mole, Daniel Mole’s father.

“Sometimes when tragedy happens, it kind of goes stagnant due to, you know, life. We get caught up in things, so it’s a nice little reminder to say hey, we are here. We’re not going anywhere. Our boys will always be missed, always be loved, and this is our way of doing right by them, even though they’re not here,” said Lea Aquino, Jonah Ragsdale’s mother.

Their efforts go beyond the Leeward Coast.

A proposal at the State Capitol would impose an extended term of imprisonment for those convicted of negligent homicide and did not remain at the scene.

Senate Bill 2582 passed out of conference committee Tuesday afternoon and now goes for a full vote in the Senate.

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