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The Maui Police Department Traffic Division is reminding all to drive sober or get pulled over this holiday season. MPD will be working tirelessly to keep everyone on our roadways safe during this festive season.

As participants of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign, the department is re-enforcing the dangers of impaired driving. The purpose of the campaign is to keep the community safe and help raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving through high-visibility enforcement and public education.

This holiday season, which runs from Dec. 11 to Jan. 1, motorists can expect police to have an increased presence checking for impaired drivers with the use of saturation patrols and intoxication control checkpoints throughout the island.

In addition to increased impaired driving enforcement, drivers can expect to see officers proactively enforcing the county’s speeding, seat belt, and cell phone laws, as well as violators running red traffic signals.

Currently, Maui County has sustained 22 traffic fatalities this year. Fifteen of those fatalities, or 68 percent, involved a driver impaired by alcohol or drugs.

If someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take their keys, offer another alternative and help prevent a tragedy, urged the department. “Take care of your loved ones this holiday and let’s make sure everyone arrives home safely,” the department said in a statement. “Working together as a community, we can all help do our part to make our roads safer.”

MPD is asking drivers to follow simple tips to keep the holidays safe for everyone: Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive, even if you have only had one alcoholic beverage. Make other plans to get home safely. If you know you will be drinking, do not drive and designate a sober driver before you begin drinking. If you have been drinking, do not drive; call a taxi, Uber, Lyft, a sober friend or family member, or use the public bus system. “Remember, a sober driver is not the person who drank the least,” the department said. “It is someone who did not drink at all.” And always wear your seatbelt – it is your best defense in a crash.

Additionally, the MPD wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday.

Suzanne Kayian is a Maui-based writer, public relations specialist and social media zealot. With more than 20 years experience, Suzanne has contributed to a variety of publications ranging from local independent...

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