Impaired Driving Awareness Checkpoint Set for Wednesday | News, Sports, Jobs

Charlene Brown waits to present a bag to a sober driver November 24 at the third annual Hannah Brown Impaired Driving Checkpoint on the Kuihelani Highway in Kahului. She and other family members held anti-disabled-driving signs at the checkpoint in memory of their 19-year-old daughter, who was killed in 2019 in an accident caused by a drunk and speeding driver. Checkpoints commemorating Hannah Brown will be held on Wednesday as the Hawaii Department of Health and community members draw attention to traffic fatalities this week to mark World Remembrance Day. Photo by The Maui News/LILA FUJIMOTO

Maui Police Department officials will operate their 4th Annual Hannah Brown Memorial Disabled Driving Awareness Awareness Checkpoint on Wednesday as the Hawaii Department of Health and community members raise awareness of traffic fatalities this week to mark World Remembrance Day.

Brown was a 19-year-old from Wailuku who was killed in a traffic accident on June 23, 2019 when her car was hit by a suspected drunk driver on the Kuihelani Highway in Kahului. Each year since then, community members and officials have joined together to raise awareness of disabled driving throughout Maui.

World Remembrance Day on Sunday serves as “an important reminder that we can all take action to improve road safety”, said dr Alvin Bronstein, Chief of Emergency Services and Injury Prevention System.

There were 527 traffic-related fatalities from 2017 to 2021, according to a press release, and buildings across the state are lit up orange through Thanksgiving week to commemorate victims and their families and honor first responders, a press release said.

From January to June 2022 there were 60 deaths nationwide, up from 46 in the same period in 2021.

Participating buildings include the Aloha Tower on O’ahu and IBM Building and Mo’ikeha Building on Kaua’i. Partners include the Hawaii Department of Transportation, the Kaua’i and Honolulu Police Departments, and the Howard Hughes Corporation.

According to the National Safety Council, fatalities from traffic accidents in the United States increased 9 percent in 2021 from 2020 and 18 percent from 2019.

“MADD believed the closures and reduced mileage would result in fewer road fatalities in 2020 and 2021. We were wrong. With more people driving in 2022, the alarming estimates for the first quarter point to another deadly spike.” said Theresa Paulette of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Hawaii. “We can expect alcohol-related deaths to increase. This is a community issue. We can and must do better. Drunk driving is a 100 (percent) preventable crime. It’s really simple: if you value life, your own and that of others – don’t drink and don’t drive.”

The DOH’s Department of Emergency Medicine and Accident Prevention System reminds all drivers to slow down, buckle up, avoid emergency vehicles, and refrain from drinking and driving.

Law enforcement agencies across the state are always on the lookout for impaired driving, especially on Thanksgiving weekend and other holidays.

For more information on national World Remembrance Day events, visit world dayofremembrance.org.

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