HPD releases body cam footage of state lawmaker’s arrest on suspicion of DUI
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - State Lawmaker Matthew LoPresti declined to speak with Hawaii News Now, but the video showed him trying to avoid being arrested in Ewa Beach the night of June 16.
Honolulu police found LoPresti pulled over in a bicycle lane near Fort Weaver and Geiger Roads in Ewa Beach.
The police officer, Steven Chun, said Matt Lopresti smelled of alcohol.
The footage is edited by HPD for privacy and confidentiality.
It showed LoPresti appearing to refuse a field sobriety test, but the officer pressed for a clear answer.
“I don’t understand why it’s relevant,” said LoPresti. “It’s relevant because you’re behind the wheel of a car, vehicle is in motion, right?”
“No, the vehicle was not in motion,” LoPresti responded.
Chun said when he first pulled up alongside LoPresti the car inched forward twice.
That part is not shown in the video because it’s before the body camera was turned on.
In his report, Chun said said he believed LoPresti was trying to bait him into coercion.
“So you gave me no indication of consequences were because I’d be glad to take the sobriety,” said LoPresti before he was cut off the by officer.
“If you take a test and failed that’s considered coercion,” said Chun.
An attorney said the responding officer was being very cautious.
“I think the officer was being careful, perhaps overly careful, but he’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t,” said attorney and former law enforcement officer, Jonathan Burge. “So, you can’t blame the officer, either.”
“It’s just one of those situations where, because of everything that happened and no driving or nothing, it’s going to be hard to convict.”
Instead of a breathalyzer, LoPresti did a blood test, and those results are still pending. In the three videos captured that night, LoPresti insists that his vehicle never moved.
Both he and his passenger tell officers they stopped drinking quote “hours ago.”
“I didn’t see any kind of slurring when he got out of the car,” said Burge. “I didn’t see him stumble or anything, he actually got in and out of the blue and white, pretty good.”
Lopresti’s arrest comes 16 months after State Rep. Sharon Har refused to take blood or breath tests after getting pulled over for driving the wrong way on Beretania Street.
According to Attorney Patrick McPherson, if it’s the driver’s first offense and they refuse to take any tests, they automatically lose their license for two years.
A hearing can be requested to contest the revocation.
However, if the driver takes the test and the results are greater than .15, they are automatically jailed for 48 hours.
The results of LoPresti’s blood test could be released as early as Wednesday.
He’s due in court on July 18.
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