Updated at 2:37 p.m., Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Karamatsu suspended from House vice speaker post
By Treena Shapiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
House Majority Leader Kirk Caldwell will serve as temporary vice speaker.
Karamatsu said that he made a serious error in judgment that led to his arrest in the early hours of Oct. 16.
Honolulu police said Karamatsu, 32, was traveling west-bound on Moanalua Freeway at about 1:15 a.m. when he lost control of his car and struck a concrete pillar.
Karamatsu, D-41st (Waipahu, Village Park, Waikele), failed a field sobriety test and was taken to the Kalihi police substation, where a Breathalyzer measured his blood-alcohol content at 0.171 more than twice the .08 blood-alcohol level above which a person is deemed to be under the influence, police said.
Bail was set at $500.
Karamatsu, in a statement, said he had been out socializing with friends.
Karamatsu is an attorney and small-business owner who was first elected to the Legislature in 2002. He was chosen by State House Speaker Calvin Say as vice speaker before last session after a leadership shuffle, in part to have a younger lawmaker on the leadership team.
Reach Treena Shapiro at email@example.com.