Essential workers in the state exempt from a stay at home order should not have to carry documentation when driving for work, according to a memo from the state attorney general.

The memo dated Thursday was in response to a letter from the Senate Special COVID-19 Committee, which asked the AG’s office for a recommendation on having workers carry a document that says they are allowed to travel.

First Deputy Attorney General Dana Viola wrote that a statewide policy would be too burdensome for the public and police and doesn’t appear to be necessary.

HPD Police DUI Sobriety checkpoint Alapai Street cops2. 5 may 2016.
Hawaii workers shouldn’t be required to carry documentation proving they are allowed to travel to work, according to the AG’s office. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

“We will touch base with our law enforcement counterparts, but at the moment, it does not appear that documentary verification is required,” Viola said in the memo.

Viola said the AG’s office receives daily updates from the county police departments.

Maui and Kauai counties have said they don’t have the manpower to police stay-at-home orders, according to Viola. Kauai police have also set up checkpoints around the island to enforce a nightly curfew.

The Honolulu Police Department has previously said drivers on Oahu won’t be stopped unless they have committed a traffic violation.

Viola wrote in the memo that workers stopped by police should contact the police department directly.

The entire state is under a stay-at-home order until April 30, meaning travel is only allowed for essential workers and to buy groceries or necessary supplies, go to medical appointments or the bank.

Violation of that order, or any rules made under Gov. David Ige’s emergency proclamations, could be met with fines up to $5,000 and a year in jail.

Not a subscription

Civil Beat is a small nonprofit newsroom, and we’re committed to a paywall-free website and subscription-free content because we believe in journalism as a public service.
 
That’s why donations from readers like you are essential to our continued existence.
 
Help keep our journalism free for all readers by becoming a monthly member of Civil Beat today.

About the Author