comscore Ex-deputy prosecutor convicted of drunken driving again | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Ex-deputy prosecutor convicted of drunken driving again


    Jon Riki Karamatsu

Jon Riki Karamatsu, a former deputy city prosecutor and state legislator, was convicted Wednesday of drunken driving for the second time.

Honolulu District Judge David Lo found him guilty during a bench trial and sentenced him to five days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Lo, however, stayed the sentence, pending an appeal.

Officers arrested Karamatsu in Waikiki on April 4, 2015, on suspicion of drunken driving. He was a deputy prosecutor in the Honolulu prosecutor’s office at the time and resigned a few days later.

It was his second conviction for drunken driving, the first coming in 2007 while he was House vice speaker. He later stepped down from his position.

The first conviction stemmed from an October 2007 incident in which Karamatsu crashed his car on Moanalua Freeway and his blood-alcohol was 0.17 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

He avoided jail time in that case, but was sentenced to 72 hours of community service and received a $750 fine.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature
Comments (41)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

    • Babooze just can’t act like an adult, failing to take responsibility for his failures. Man needs to be fired, find a job he can handle. I hear Walmart is hiring.

        • A “disease”? Guess what, we all have our problems. By saying it’s a “disease” it’s implying the individual has no responsibility for their behavior. The individual is responsible for their behavior, nothing else.

        • @Morimoto… Nobody said he shouldn’t be responsible. @copperwire9 simply said alcoholism is a disease but never said that excuses Karamatsu’s behavior. He/she didn’t imply anything about responsibility. You just wrongly inferred it. It’s not a zero sum situation. It can be both a disease and still not excuse Karamatsu for behavior while drunk. Learn to think in more than just black and white.

        • @HIE, I get what you’re saying, but to me mentioning the disease without also adding a statement about personal responsibility does infer that it’s the fault of the disease, rather than the individual. I don’t know what Copperwire9 is thinking if he doesn’t say it. But your comment was fair. I hope Karamatsu gets the help he needs, though seeing as how he had incidents 8 years apart, I don’t know how much he wants help. I’d also bet money he’s driven drunk a lot more times where he wasn’t caught. That’s where personal responsibility comes into play.

        • Actually 12 step is a fairly ineffective way to address alcoholism. Many European countries utilize a much more scientifiic and data driven methods.

      • First of all, the case was conflicted out of the prosecutor’s office, to the attorney general’s office. Secondly, for an offense that is not preceded by a conviction for a DUI within five years, the maximum jail that the judge is allowed to impose is five days. Most people sentenced under this section receive only a fine and license revocation. Judge Lo sentenced Karamatsu to the maximum jail allowed.

  • No wonder, the number of DUI doesn’t seem to go down despite all the ads on tv; we have people who “supposedly” making laws and people enforcing the laws are only getting slap on the hand when they break the same law everyone else are supposed to follow and obey. Who else in government have had or are doing DUI? Hawaii’s circus is getting interesting everyday…

  • Repeat offenders need to have the book thrown at them. 5 days in jail probably won’t do much to change his ways and he’ll probably end up killing somebody on the road before realizing he should quit drinking for good.

    • Yep, I bet he’s driven drunk hundreds of times before. It’s like finding a cockaroach and realizing there’s hundreds more hiding in the shadows.

  • Riki is really sick and needs therapy. Needs help to fight what is probably an inherited alcohol addiction. He reminds me of people addicted to Heroin, Cocaine, money, cigarettes, women’s genitals, and men’s, too. Does it make him feel good? Does he drink because he is angry? Frustrated? Bored? Because everybody is drinking? I think Riki has not yet found a real doctor who can diagnose, investigate, educate, and treat this young man. Too many slam-bang-thankyou doctors. In and out. Next! Telling someone to stop drinking is just as easy to say stop eating. Therapists need to put themselves into their patients’ heads and compare their addiction to their own bad habits. Analyze the disorder for them and guide them into understanding the origins, progression of diseases, and construct an orderly plan to eradicate the disease. Helps to create a system of training with reward/punishment. Pity Riki. I used to have a cigarette habit. Hated myself every time I lit up and always telling myself it’s the last one before I quit.

  • Correct me if I’m wrong, however isn’t it the 3rd time? Or was the April 4, 2015, on suspicion of drunken driving not counted?

    Wednesday’s conviction. Was it yesterday, 3/2/2016 ?

    Bet he refused the breathalyzer test which was ruled unconstitutional.

    • He went to trial for the April 4, 2015 arrest. He had one prior conviction, 8 years ago. The look-back period for DUI’s is five years, so this is technically his “first” conviction.

  • Having lost his professional career, disgraced his family and friends, failed to “Man Up” to his alcoholism, lost face with everyone, there is a real concern during his darkest hours he may consider suicide.

    Jon truly needs professional help to eliminate his drinking problem, try and get his life back together. Do it now Jon. Healing starts when you admit you have a problem and start correcting it.

Scroll Up