Smart Start Ignition Interlock Press Conference

MADD Hawaii joins Smart Start Ignition Interlock Press Conference on October 18th, 2023

“Drinking and driving is not an accident or a mere mistake; it’s a reckless choice that can result in devastating and far-reaching consequences,” said Chanda Park, who lost her daughter Azalia just days before Christmas in 2020 when a drunk driver struck her and fled the scene. Chanda created SafeRide Hawaiʻi, a local nonprofit with a mission to save lives by providing services that take intoxicated drivers and their cars home safely. “By never drinking and driving, by separating drinking and driving through the installation of ignition interlocks for DUI offenders, by being responsible and designating a sober driver, we can save lives and protect our community.”

Since 2006, ignition interlocks prevented 196,245 trips in Hawai’i where a DUI offender would have been driving after drinking. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaiʻi is one of the few states that saw a decline in alcohol-impaired driving fatalities from 36 in 2019 to 28 in 2021.

MADD Hawaiʻi Advisory Board Member Arkie Koehl added, “MADD Hawaiʻi is proud to have spearheaded the introduction of interlock in Hawaiʻi, working with county police, prosecutors, the Departments of Transportation and Health, the Judiciary, members of the State Legislature and other community partners beginning in 2007 and resulting in interlock becoming law in 2011. But there’s a catch: the device only works when it’s installed, so we need to redouble our efforts to increase the number of offenders using it.”