Kansas state senator gets 48 hours in jail

DUI Records Search  Kansas — Republican Kansas Sen. Gene Suellentrop pleaded no contest Monday to misdemeanor drunk driving and reckless driving charges after he was arrested earlier this year for driving drunk the wrong way on Interstate 70 in Topeka and evading police.The agreement means a felony charge of evading police is dropped. The sentence orders Suellentrop to spend 48 hours in jail as well as 12 months on probation. He reports to the Shawnee County Jail Nov. 18 at noon.
Suellentrop will also pay a $775 fine and will have an ignition interlock device, a breathalyzer-type machine, on his vehicle to ensure he remains sober.
The plea won’t immediately mean the end of Suellentrop’s political career. State law says anyone convicted of a felony can’t hold public office, but the plea deal means Suellentrop will only be convicted of misdemeanors.
An officer said Suellentrop drove the wrong way on I-70 in Topeka and other cars swerved to avoid a crash on the highway. The statement said Suellentrop raced to avoid police and later called an officer “donut boy” and said he could “take” the officer in a fight.
Thomas Lemon, Suellentrop’s attorney, argued for probation because of a clean criminal record. He said previous “salacious” details of the case painted Suellentrop in a negative light.
“All other aspects of his life are in good shape,” Lemon said.
Suellentrop didn’t speak with reporters after leaving the courtroom, but said during the hearing that he won’t have any future legal troubles.
“There are many lessons to be learned in circumstances such as these,” Suellentrop said. “I can assure you I learned my share.”
He didn’t respond to a question about whether he would stay in office.
Before his arrest in March, Suellentrop, from Wichita, was one of the most powerful conservative Republican lawmakers in the Statehouse, holding the job of Senate majority leader.
Republicans already stripped him of his leadership position in April after court documents alleged dangerous belligerence the night of the arrest.

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