ASIMO chief arrested on DUI charge in Tochigi

Kyodo

The lead engineer for Honda Motor Co.’s ASIMO robot has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Tochigi Prefecture, police said Sunday.

Masato Hirose, 55, executive chief engineer at Honda R&D Co., the automaker’s research arm, was arrested Saturday night after failing a breathalyzer test taken after he was involved in a minor traffic accident in Utsunomiya.

Local police said Hirose’s alcohol level was over the legal limit of 0.15 milligram per liter of exhaled air.

Hirose said he had been drinking at a relative’s wedding party earlier Saturday, the police said. He was driving from his home to a convenience store shortly after returning from the ceremony when the accident happened, they said.

A Honda Motor spokesman said the arrest was “very disappointing” but that it was not aware of the details.