Ex-Maui official fined
for driving drunk again

WAILUKU » A former managing director for Maui County has been fined $500 and ordered to perform 250 hours of community service for drunk driving.

Wailuku District Judge Reinette Cooper also ordered John Kulp to undergo a substance abuse evaluation.

Kulp, 52, pleaded guilty to drunk driving Thursday.

But he has been allowed to delay paying the fine and performing the community service pending the outcome of a planned appeal to a higher court.

Kulp admitted he had committed his second act of drunk driving in five years. He had a drunken-driving conviction in Nevada on Jan. 24, 2002.

State Deputy Attorney General Joanne Ha'o said she was personally disappointed the judge didn't give Kulp 14 days in jail, as request by the prosecution.

But overall, Ha'o said, she felt the outcome was "a fair result" and Cooper did a good job.

Kulp has been without a driver's license for the past 11 months following an administrative action that suspended his license for a year, Ha'o said.

Kulp was appointed managing director by Mayor Alan Arakawa in January 2003.

He stepped down from his county position on July 15 after deciding to challenge the Maui drunk-driving charge.

As managing director, his job was to supervise the administrative functions of all county departments, including the police department and prosecuting attorney's office.

Defense attorney David Sereno has argued that the police had a defective checkpoint plan that was discriminatory and did not include mo-peds.

In August, Cooper denied Sereno's motion to dismiss the charge and affirmed Ha'o's argument that police were within their authority to halt Kulp and arrest him for drunk driving.

Police officers had testified that they excluded mo-peds because they did not want cars accidentally crashing into mo-peds while turning right into a DUI checkpoint.

Kulp was driving on Wahine Pio Drive near the entrance to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center when he was stopped at a DUI checkpoint at 11:41 p.m. on Dec. 16, 2003.

His blood alcohol level was 0.114, well over the legal limit of 0.08, according to court records.

Sereno and Kulp were unavailable for comment.

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