BJ Penn Arrested For DUI in Honoka’a

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Former UFC Champion BJ Penn arrested on DUI charges Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. PC: HPD

Former UFC Champion BJ Penn was picked up by police on Saturday for DUI, the Hilo native’s second such incident in less than one year.

About 4:51 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 23, Hawai‘i Police Department officers from the Hāmākua District responded to a report of a reckless driver on a business property in Honoka’a.

Upon arriving on scene, police learned through witnesses that Jay Penn, better known as BJ Penn, had arrived at the business earlier in a gray Toyota pickup truck. Prior to police arrival, the 42-year-old was observed talking loudly toward employees and later drove off the property in a reckless manner, according to a police report.


While officers were at the scene speaking with the business employees about the incident, they observed Penn return to the property. Officers contacted Penn and observing signs of impairment, arrested him for operating a vehicle under the influence of intoxicants. Penn was later released pending further investigation.

Penn in February of 2020 was also involved in a single-vehicle crash on Route 11 in Hilo, during which he flipped a speeding Toyota Tacoma pickup truck into an area fronting Prince Kuhio Plaza.

According to police, speed was a factor in that crash and medical professionals drew blood from Penn after he arrived at Hilo Medical Center so they could examine it for the presence of intoxicants.


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