Police report of lawmaker’s DUI arrest says she smelled of alcohol, was slurring speech

Updated: Feb. 26, 2021 at 6:02 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A damaging new police report says state Rep. Sharon Har “smelled of alcohol” during her drunken driving arrest on Monday night, yelled “Black Lives Matter” at officers and told them she was going to be the next governor.

The 52-year-old lawmaker was arrested about 10:20 p.m. Monday after police saw her driving in the wrong direction in the center lane of Beretania Street, which is a one-way street.

In his report, the officer who made the initial stop said that Har “slurred” her speech and appeared intoxicated. “I could smell the odor of alcoholic beverage emitting from her breath and the interior of the vehicle,” said Honolulu Police Sgt. Adam Lipka. Another officer said Har raised her voice with them.

“(She) began to yell that she was embarrassed, that her wrists hurt, questioned us as to why there needed to be so many officers at the scene, and stated ‘Black Lives Matter.’ She then began to yell at officers Ting and Tory to hurry up because she needed to call people,” said Officer Clinton Ono.

A third officer, Christopher Morgado, said Har “began asking 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.”

The police accounts contradict Har’s explanation of the events. Earlier this week, the veteran lawmaker blamed the arrest on a single beer mixed with medication she was taking for a respiratory illness that contained codeine.

“After working late that night I made the decision to have a beer with dinner,” she said.

“While I didn’t realize it at that time, that decision coupled with my medication is something I will regret for the rest of my life.”

But during her arrest, Morgado said Har “related that she is not currently taking prescription medication.”

Police said Har ― known for her work on toughening drunk driving law ― also refused to take a field sobriety test.

Colin Moore, a University of Hawaii political science professor and Hawaii News Now’s political analyst, said the police reports are damaging.

“This is one of the worst things that can happen to a politician, particularly if they have any aspirations to a higher office. Because it will just keep coming back again, again and again,” said Moore.

He added, “You can create a situation where the lie ends up worse than the crime itself.”

Howard Luke, Har’s attorney, said his client “has fully accepted responsibility for her conduct.”

“She is deeply sorry for this entire incident. She is dedicated to regaining the trust of the community,” he said.

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