Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu was picked up by Honolulu police for driving under the influence after crashing his car on the freeway late last night. KITV reports that he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.171, more than double the legal limit of 0.08.
Karamatsu, a 1992 graduate of Pearl City High School, is a guy I’ve kept my eye on as one of the “next generation” of Hawaii leaders. He also earned notice for being one of the few elected officials in the state who has a blog. So the news of his DUI charge is discouraging. Fortunately, Hawaii voters can be pretty forgiving, if a sufficient level of remorse and responsibility is demonstrated. And thanks to his blog, he has a venue to address his constituents personally, directly, and honestly. (Thanks to the Jon Riki Karamatsu’s Campaign Community, we may also hear from members of his team.)
He didn’t exactly shine with transparency and forthrightness when pressed about his appointment as Vice Speaker of the House last year. So this latest development will be a significant test of his communications chops.
I’m wondering if he’ll get any support from his friends in the liquor industry?