Ewa lawmaker Matt LoPresti was arrested Thursday night for suspicion of driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

LoPresti, 48, was arrested just before midnight on Fort Weaver Road. He was released at 3:50 a.m. on $500 bail. He’s set to appear in court July 18.

LoPresti declined to talk about the incident.

“On the advice of counsel, we are not making any statement at this time,” LoPresti said in a text message. “We are in the process of conducting our own investigation and hope to make a statement in the upcoming weeks.”

Rep Matt LoPresti speaks about anti flotilla/drinking on the ocean bill leading up the the aid in death bill.
Rep. Matt LoPresti was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence late Thursday night. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2018

LoPresti refused to participate in a field sobriety test after being stopped by police and then refused to take a breath test after being arrested, according to a police report of the incident. Officers described him as uncooperative.

Honolulu Police Sgt. Steven Chun was the first to approach LoPresti’s Chevy sedan parked in the shoulder lane of Fort Weaver Road just before the intersection of Geiger Road. LoPresti had been involved in an argument with a female passenger of the vehicle. During a conversation with Chun, LoPresti said he didn’t do anything wrong.

Chun told LoPresti that he could smell alcohol on LoPresti’s breath. The lawmaker responded: “I don’t understand why that is relevant.” The car apparently rolled forward twice during their conversation. After refusing a sobriety test, Chun arrested LoPresti. Officers escorted the female passenger home.

At the police station, LoPresti again declined to take alcohol tests.

“LoPresti was not cooperative when it came to making a decision on what he wished to do as he continuously asked the same questions repeatedly regarding consequences of refusing to take a test or actually taking the test,” Ofc. Mariah Ah Tou wrote in the report.

In a handwritten note on a testing consent form, LoPresti wrote that officers refused to tell him what the consequences could be and would not let him speak to an attorney before making a decision about what to do. However, Ah Tou’s report describes LoPresti’s attempts to contact lawyers.

Officers did take a blood test from LoPresti, but the results were still pending.

LoPresti represents House District 41, which includes Ewa Beach and Barbers Point. He sits on the House Housing, Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs, and Transportation Committees. He served in the House from 2014 to 2018 before making an unsuccessful run for the Senate in 2018.

During that election season, LoPresti was caught pulling his opponent’s campaign brochure from a resident’s door. He later apologized for his actions.

He was reelected to his current position in 2020. Since then, he’s led the House’s new Progressive Caucus. He is running unopposed in this year’s primary election.

LoPresti is the second lawmaker to be arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in the last two years. Rep. Sharon Har was arrested in February 2021 after police found her driving in the wrong direction on Beretania Street.

Har was acquitted of driving while intoxicated charges in January. She was the subject of a separate investigation by a special committee of House lawmakers stemming from her arrest. But the panel did not recommend that Har receive any formal punishment.

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