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Rash of Local Arrests and Accidents Caused by Drunken Driving

person drinking while driving

Hawaii island saw a higher number of drunken driving arrests in 2017, including a spate of DUI arrests in the final week of the year and an injury accident caused by a repeat DUI offender. Learn more about DUIs on the island of Hawaii below, and contact an experienced Hilo car accident attorney if you’ve been injured in a crash.

Rise in DUI arrests for 2017

During the week of December 25-31, Hawaii island police report that they arrested 25 drivers on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Three of those drivers had been involved in a crash prior to their arrest. In total, Hawaii police arrested 1,160 drivers for driving under the influence in 2017. This is a 4.4% increase over 2016’s total of 1,111 DUI arrests on the island. There were 32 motor vehicle fatalities on Hawaii in 2017, stemming from 30 fatal collisions. This marks an increase of 11.1% in the number of fatal collisions (27) that occurred in 2016.

In one particularly egregious incident, a man was arrested for hitting a pedestrian under suspicion of driving under the influence within hours after he had previously been arrested for a DUI. On November 30, a 68-year-old man named Nicholas Martin struck a parked car at 9pm, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, and released on $500 bail just after midnight. On December 1, Martin veered off the road and stuck a pedestrian standing in front of a condo complex, sending the man to the hospital in critical condition. Martin was again arrested on suspicion of being drunk behind the wheel, and is now facing charges of negligent injury, assault, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, two counts of DUI, no car insurance, inattention to driving, and accident by striking an unattended vehicle or property.

Drunken drivers can face civil claims in addition to criminal charges

Drivers who get behind the wheel while intoxicated are not only at risk of facing criminal charges; they may also face civil lawsuits for harm they cause. Hawaii residents who are the victim of a drunken driver can use evidence of the driver’s criminal conviction to support a claim for money damages against the at-fault driver. Even if the driver isn’t convicted in criminal court of driving under the influence, accident victims may use evidence showing that the driver had been drinking to support claims of negligence and impaired driving against the at-fault driver. A Hilo attorney experienced in claims against drunken drivers can help you file a claim against the driver who caused your injuries in a crash.

For assistance after a Hawaii drunk driving accident, contact the dedicated and effective Hilo personal injury attorney Louis P. Mendonca for a free initial consultation at 808-961-6690.

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