60-second profile — Herbert Hijiki, Driver education assistant, state judiciary Fifth Circuit

Q: What do you do?

A: I talk to the defendants who are referred to the Driver Education Division as ordered by the court. For example, someone who was required to take a four-hour, child-restraint class, or has been convicted of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant (OVUII), formerly known as driving under the influence of an intoxicating liquor (DUI).

Q: Does driving under the influence of an intoxicant mean that someone was driving under the influence of liquor?

A: Yes.

Q: Could it also mean that that person was driving under the influence of drugs

A: Yes. Marijuana, ice, cocaine, possibly prescription drugs. One of the things people have to be careful about when they are taking medication, and if they are drinking alcohol, is that it may be a more potentially dangerous result.

It is known as the synergistic effect. The result may be potentially more dangerous because if they are taking any depressants they may go to sleep. Drinking and medication may interact and put the person at risk.

If they are taking any prescription drugs, they should talk to their doctor about their alcohol consumption while they are on medication.

Q: What kinds of classes do you teach?

A: There’s four: Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant, First Offender; Child-Restraint course; Driving Under the Influence Under 21, and Defensive Driving.

Q: How long have you been with the Judiciary?

A: Over 25 years.

Q: Were you born and raised on Kaua‘i?

A: Yes.

Q: What is your favorite local food?

A: Spam and eggs and rice.

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