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Hawai‘i Alcohol Policy Alliance Hosts Summer Strategy Meeting to Get Moving for Next Session

The 2023 legislative session for the Hawai‘i Alcohol Policy Alliance was a valuable one. Although the 0.05 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) bill did not pass, a campaign can still achieve significant progress, even without a bill being signed into law. While we did not ultimately pass SB 160, our campaign raised public awareness of the benefits of lowering the BAC to 0.05, brought key stakeholders like the National Transportation Safety Board, Department of Transportation, and MADD to the table, and even advanced the conversation in ways that will lead to future legislative action. 

This year, more than ever, we created momentum in the media that prompted more lawmakers and our communities to think about steps to save lives and improve road safety. We even had challenging conversations with lawmakers and partners about ways to draft the law in a way that would be supported by both law enforcement and criminal defense attorneys. 

One month after the 2023 legislative session adjourned, the Alliance held its annual legislative debrief and strategy meeting to discuss what went well, what we need to improve upon, and which legislative priorities we want to set for the coming year. The Alliance members contributed valuable insights and experiences from this last legislative session on lessons learned and areas of improvement needed to increase our success for next year. 

During the strategy portion of the meeting, we reached an understanding of the six essential elements to passing policy, assessed our assets and gaps, and developed an initial strategy for our summer workgroups. To conclude the meeting, we looked at our current resources. We prioritized the upcoming bills for the 2024 session while remaining flexible with our partners and other bills still in development.

Overall, the debrief was productive, and the Hawai’i Alcohol Policy Alliance left feeling energized and motivated to execute the summer strategy.

Chelsea Gonzales

Chelsea Gonzales

Statewide Coordinator (Hawaiʻi Alcohol Policy Alliance)
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