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Hawaii Democrat who railed against drunk driving for years seen on video being arrested for suspected DUI

Hawaii Democrat who railed against drunk driving for years seen on video being arrested for suspected DUI

 A Democratic lawmaker from Hawaii who helped usher in tough penalties for drunk driving was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence. Authorities released police bodycam video of Hawaii state Rep. Sharon Har (D) being arrested after allegedly driving the wrong way down a one-way street in her 2019 Mercedes-Benz.


This week, investigators released footage of Har's arrest in Honolulu that happened shortly after 10 p.m. on Feb. 22, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

"I observed her eyes to be red and glassy in appearance and her speech seemed to be slightly slurred," Sgt. Adam Lipka wrote in the incident report. "While speaking with HAR at her driver's window with it fully down and about 3-4 feet from HAR when I briefly lowered my facemask I could smell the odor of alcoholic beverages emitting from her breath and the interior of the vehicle."

"Sharon spoke with a slow, slurred speech, and had red, glassy eyes," officer Christopher Morgado wrote. "I could smell a strong odor of a consumed alcoholic type beverage coming from within the vehicle, and would get stronger as she spoke."

Har told the officers that she had just left a restaurant, where she said she consumed one beer.

Morgado noted in the report that Har asked him "if I knew who she is. Sharon then related that she was going to be the next Governor, but 'this' will mess up her plans."

During her arrest, Har "stated 'Black Lives Matter'" and asked officers "to hurry up because she needed to call people," Cpl. Clinton Ono wrote.

Officer Dan Ting wrote, "HAR began to scream, yelling 'owe' and that officers were hurting her. HAR would then stop, and state 'black lives matter.'"

Har reportedly refused to take a breath or blood test and refused to sign the documents. Coincidentally, Har helped implement the legislation that revokes the driver's license for two years of anyone who refuses to take a breath or blood test following suspicion of driving under the influence.

onolulu Police Department


While she was being booked at a Honolulu Police Department station, Har allegedly told Morgado "that she introduced the 'interlock' to Hawaii, and is responsible for it being implemented."

In 2008, Har introduced legislation to require the interlock, an in-car breathalyzer that prevents a person from starting a vehicle until a breath alcohol test is taken. On her website, she lists the legislation requiring the installation of ignition interlock for people arrested for DUI as one of her crowning "accomplishments."

"She was the one that pushed it. She was the champion of it," said attorney Patrick McPherson. "She was the person who introduced the legislation into the Legislature. She was the sponsor of the bill to require interlock. At that point you were going to be revoked from driving or a first-time violation would require the use of the interlock."

Har purportedly pushed tough laws against drunk driving in 2008 after she survived a crash with a drunk driver the previous year.

Officer Morgado wrote, "Sharon was unsteady on her feet and would constantly readjust her footing, even though we were standing still while reading paperwork."

Har issued a public apology, which stated she had taken a prescription cough medication with codeine for an upper respiratory illness that had lasted several weeks. The 52-year-old Democrat claimed that she had a single beer with dinner on the night of her arrest.

"This, in conjunction with my medication, contributed to my impaired driving," Har said in her statement. "I am extremely sorry for not anticipating the effect of this combination on my driving. I deeply apologize to my constituents, friends, family and colleagues, and to the public for this failure on my part. I would like to express my gratitude to the officers of the Honolulu Police Department for the professional manner in which they conducted their duty in effecting my arrest."

However, at the time of the arrest, Har told officers "that she is not currently taking prescription medication," according to Morgado.

Har also was reportedly cited for having no proof insurance and for driving the wrong way on a one-way street, KHON-TV reported. She was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant. She was released on $500 bail and is scheduled to make a court appearance on April 20.

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