The senator disputes a DUI arrest, claiming he was driving slowly due to vision trouble
STORY SUMMARY »
| READ THE FULL STORY
Sen. Ron Menor blamed a bad contact lens and an injured foot last night for the traffic stop that led to his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving.
Menor denied he was drunk and said he was stopped by police only for driving too slowly -- which he attributed to a single, outdated contact lens.
He said he took a took a field alcohol screening test but refused other sobriety tests.
Menor is the sponsor of a bill advancing in the Legislature that would require the installation of an ignition interlock system on cars operated by repeated DUI or severely intoxicated offenders.
FULL STORY »
Sen. Ron Menor, who recently sponsored a bill that would require drunken-driving offenders to have ignition interlock systems in their vehicles, was arrested early yesterday on suspicion of drunken driving.
Menor (D, Mililani) was driving west on the H-1 freeway when he was arrested near the Lunalilo Street offramp at about 12:30 a.m., police said. Menor posted his $500 bail and was released at about 2 a.m.
In an e-mail last night, Menor said he had at most two glasses of wine during a meal after an evening at the Blaisdell Center with his two sons.
On the way home, he said, he was stopped by police because he was driving too slowly -- which he attributed to wearing a single, outdated contact lens.
"My replacement lenses have been on order from my ophthalmologist." he said. "The older, single lens I was wearing was giving me some unanticipated problems as the night wore on, and was slipping in my eye just before I was stopped. Because of a medical condition affecting my eyes, my vision is not correctable with glasses."
He said he agreed to blow into a breathalyzer but refused a field sobriety test, which typically requires walking, because of his vision trouble and a previous foot injury.
That refusal led to his arrest, he said. At the police station, he said, he refused further tests.
While apologizing for the incident, Menor added, "It is my hope that this statement will help clarify matters regarding last night's arrest."
He is scheduled to appear in District Court next month.
Before Menor's statement, Senate President Colleen Hanabusa said she was giving him the benefit of the doubt.
"I think this can be very damaging, and that's why I think it's important before anyone says anything about it to at least allow Senator Menor to make his statement first," Hanabusa said. "Until we have an opportunity to speak to Senator Menor or to get his side of what had occurred, we're taking a position of no comment. We don't take these types of incidents lightly."
Senate Majority Leader Gary Hooser (D, Kauai-Niihau) echoed those comments.
Drunken-driving arrests have damaged lawmakers' careers in the recent past.
Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu was arrested in October for drunken driving and later stepped down as House vice speaker.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
State Sen. Ron Menor, who was arrested early Sunday morning for alleged drunken driving, took a field alcohol screening test but refused other sobriety tests. Originally, this story incorrectly reported that he took a breathalyzer test.