A Hawaii lawmaker who implemented tough drunk-driving penalties in her state has been arrested — for allegedly driving under the influence.
State Rep. Sharon Har, 52, started pushing for the tough changes to DUI laws in 2008 after surviving a crash the previous year when a drunk driver slammed into her, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser said.
But the mother of twin 3-year-old daughters was herself arrested in Honolulu last month after she was pulled over in her 2019 Mercedes while facing the wrong direction on a one-way street, the outlet said, citing police reports.
“I’m embarrassed, I didn’t know,” Har — who also works for a private law firm — told the officer who first spoke to her, as caught in newly released video footage of the late-night bust from Feb. 22.
The officer told his colleagues that he could smell alcohol on Har’s breath even while standing a few feet from her for coronavirus safety measures.
The lawmaker then started dramatically screaming ‘ow!’ while being ‘cuffed — and randomly said, “Black Lives Matter.”
“It’s embarrassing, let’s go,” she barked at the group of officers, who appeared to only realize who she was after calling in her details, the video shows.
During her arrest, Har asked if the cops “knew who she is,” officer Christopher Morgado wrote in his report, according to the Star Advertiser.
“Sharon then related that she was going to be the next Governor, but ‘this’ will mess up her plans,” the officer wrote, saying Har “spoke with a slow, slurred speech, and had red, glassy eyes.”
She also “stated ‘Black Lives Matter’” and asked officers “to hurry up because she needed to call people,” Cpl. Clinton Ono reportedly wrote.
Har listed her occupation as “Hawaii House District 42 Representative,” according to one HPD arrest report, and also as “State House Representative” employed by the “State of Hawaii” in another.
She refused to take a breath or blood test, which means her driver’s license was immediately revoked for two years — one of the penalties she helped implement.
Morgado insisted in his report that Har “related that she is not currently taking prescription medication.”
However, that is the reason she gave in a statement to local media, saying she had been taking prescription cough medication with codeine for an upper respiratory illness that had lasted several weeks.
She said she “had a beer with my dinner” that “in conjunction with my medication, contributed to my impaired driving.”
“I am extremely sorry for not anticipating the effect of this combination on my driving,” she said, according to the outlet.
“I deeply apologize to my constituents, friends, family and colleagues, and to the public for this failure on my part.”
The Hawaii chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a group that worked closely with Har in forming her bill, called the arrest “painful.”
“Sharon Har helped us out,” chapter founder Carol McNamee said. “She knew what the rules were.”
Har was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant and her next criminal court hearing is scheduled for April 20. Har’s attorney, Howard Luke, did not respond to requests for comment, the Star Advertiser said.