Maui Health helps to prevent drunk driving during holiday season

HI Now host Kainoa Carlson speaks with Maui Health on how they are taking the necessary steps to help prevent drunk driving during the holidays!

Sponsored by Maui Health

Maui Health (www.mauihealth.org) is taking the lead when it comes to confronting the dangers of drunk driving, especially at this time of year.
Drunk driving is more prevalent during the holidays, mainly because of all the celebrations with family and friends. It has been a tough year and we know people are looking forward to seeing their loved ones and have a good time. It is important for our mental and emotional health that we all have this time to reconnect with friends and socialize. But with that comes the responsibility to yourself, your loved ones and the people on the road with you.

Driving under the influence includes not only alcohol, but any substance that impairs your ability to drive safely. Before you decide to drive, remember the devastating effects of losing a loved one, especially during the holidays.

According to Hawaii EMS, Hawaii drivers characterized as positive for alcohol or drugs were 25% more likely to not use a seatbelt or helmet, and more likely to be in critical condition or worse condition than those not being found under the influence.

100% of all injuries and deaths due to driving under the influence are preventable. So it is critical to educate our community on the consequences of impaired driving.

In Hawaii, over the past ten years, fatal car crashes accounted for (between 2010-2019):
– An average of 108 deaths per year
– 1081 deaths total in Hawaii

On Maui, over last ten years, fatal car crashes accounted for:
– An average of 19 deaths per year
– 190 deaths total on Maui

In Hawaii, of the fatal crashes in the last five years (between 2015-2019):
– Over one-quarter (26%), involved alcohol-impaired driving, and
– Over one-fifth (21%) involved a driver who tested positive for illicit drugs, most commonly meth or THC.

For Maui County, of the fatal crashes in the last five years (between 2015-2019):
– About 42% of all fatal crashes involved alcohol impaired driving.
– That is the highest proportion in the state.
– About 29% of all fatal crashes involved a driver who tested positive for illicit drugs.
– In total, nearly two-thirds of all fatal crashes on Maui involving someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

According to Hawaii EMS, of all drivers treated at the scene of a car accident:
– Statewide, about 12% of all drivers seen by EMS at an accident scene, were found as under the influence.
– On Maui, that number is much higher. About 22% of all drivers seen by EMS at an accident scene for motor vehicle accident were found to be under the influence.
– And while the number of fatal injuries due to impaired driving has dropped over the past year, most likely because of the lock down periods during COVID and less people out on the road, the number of total DUI arrests on Maui have gone up.

According to Maui Police Department:
– This year (thru 10/12/21) we already have made 447 DUI arrests.
– This is an over 12% increase compared to same time in 2020.
– Typically, DUI arrests increase during the holidays, which are fast approaching.

One of the top two trauma-related injuries in the MMMC Emergency Department is related to a motor vehicle accident. And most of those, and the most serious of those, are due to drunk/impaired driving..

Learn about the consequences of drunk and impaired driving and the most common trauma injuries on Maui at the first Maui Health virtual Trauma Community Health Fair. Maui Health’s Trauma Medical Director Dr. Art Chasen and Emergency Medicine Physician, Dr. David Williams, along with the Maui Police Department, Maui Driving School, and several other community partners come together to provide information, education and tips, and real-life stories and testimonials.

The interactive event will be streamed live on Facebook @wearemauihealth and everyone who registers by December 1, 2021 will receive a FREE event gift pack mailed directly to their homes.