Exclusive: lawmaker busted for excessive speeding

Julia Buxton
Julia Buxton
Rep. Corinne Ching
Rep. Corinne Ching

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A member of the state House went from law maker to law breaker Tuesday. Rep. Corinne Ching appeared before an Oahu judge, accused of driving nearly 80 miles per hour on Likelike Highway last month.

State Rep. Corinne Ching takes her time walking to the courtroom. Driving is another story.

The Nuuanu-Liliha-Alewa Heights Republican is charged with excessive speeding, after police clocked her going 77 miles an hour on Likelike Highway June 29th. That's 42 miles per hour over the posted speed limit of 35.

"If they make the laws, then, you know, they have to abide by it so that we can learn from them and we can follow," Julia Buxton, Kalihi resident, said.

Ching tells the judge she won't fight the charge.

"I did plead no contest," she said. "And I am very willing to accept responsibility."

She admits she was rushing from a family event in Punaluu to an awards ceremony in Chinatown.

"I, you know, was on my way to a legislative function," Ching said. "And I didn't realize I was going so beyond the speed limit. But I was."

Excessive speeding is 30 miles per hour over the posted limit, or at least 80 miles an hour regardless of the limit. Under the law, which took effect last year, violators face harsher penalties.

"You know what? I voted for (the new law)," Ching said. "I voted for it, so I'm willing to pay for it."

She's ordered to pay a $500 fine. Her driver's license is suspended for 30 days. She must attend driver's education, and perform 36 hours of community service.

"Safety is important, and I hold myself to that standard as well," the legislator said. "And if I did not, you know, abide, I need to pay the consequences."

Ching could have received up to five days in jail. Under a plea deal with prosecutors, she manages to avoid that.